Canada passes bill to ban harmful LGBT ‘conversion therapy’

justin trudeau press conference june 2021
Photo: YouTube

Canadian lawmakers have passed a bill to outlaw harmful LGBT conversion practices.

“Conversion therapy” refers to discredited practices of changing or suppressing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, using psychological or spiritual means.

The Canadian government’s bill passed its first vote 263 to 63 this week. The legislation will now go to the Senate for another vote.

Minister of Justice David Lametti tweeted the bill is “about protecting the dignity and equality rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit individuals.”

It criminalises “conversion therapy”-related conduct. If passed, he said, “will make Canada’s criminal laws on conversion therapy the most progressive and comprehensive in the world.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party committed to the ban before the 2019 election.

Trudeau tweeted that conversion practices as “harmful and degrading”.

“Conversion therapy has no place in Canada,” he said.

“And even though more than half of the Conservative caucus voted against it, the House of Commons has passed our legislation to criminalize this harmful and degrading practice.

“We’ll always stand up for LGBTQ2 Canadians and their rights.”

Canada bill bans coercives practices on children and adults

The Canadian legislation defines conversion therapy as practices “designed to change an individual’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender or to reduce non-heterosexual sexual attraction or sexual behavior.”

The bill would prohibit Canadians from subjecting children to the practice, either in Canada or overseas.

It would also prevent forcing adults from undergoing the practice against their will.

Under the proposed law, no one could profit from nor advertise the practices.

The vote in the Canadian parliament this week split the opposition Conservative party, with 62 out of 119 of their members voting against it.

The party said they opposed coercive conversion practices. However some voted against the bill because they believed the definition was too broad.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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1 Comment

  1. Paul
    7 July 2021

    Unfortunately the “ultra-conservatives” control and have the numbers in the Senate Chamber of Canada and will be blocked. On the other hand, an federal election is due within Canada around the corner. I am sure the bill will be re-introduced again. ➡️

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