LGBTQ conversion therapy may soon become a thing of the past in Canada, thanks to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who’s making it a priority for his newly elected cabinet to ban the highly controversial practice, The Independent reports.
Trudeau made his intentions known Friday in a “mandate letter” to Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti, telling him the issue is a “top priority,” and implored him to “amend the criminal code to ban the practice of conversion therapy and take other steps required with the provinces and territories to end conversion therapy in Canada.”
Conversion therapy, which forcibly attempts to change people’s gender or sexuality, has been widely debunked as harmful pseudoscience, and according to the Human Rights Campaign, has been linked to depression, anxiety, homelessness, drug use, and suicide.
Trudeau’s letter is receiving praise from many in Canada’s LGBTQ community, as well as from activists and supporters, PinkNews reports.
“This is a real opportunity for Canada to show leadership on the world stage when it comes to passing the strongest legislation in the world. To clearly demonstrate that conversion therapy has no place in our society or civilization,” said conversion therapy opponent professor Kristopher Wells.
This can't happen soon enough and we are committed to work with Minister @DavidLametti to get this done immediately.
Read the full Mandate Letter here: https://t.co/i8izNHo0Zy
— Dr. Kristopher Wells (@KristopherWells) December 13, 2019
Canadian politician S. Chandra Herbert mirrored Wells’ sentiments.
Great to see the federal government has heard the loud request from LGBTQ Canadians, and many allies to ban conversion therapy in all provinces and territories across Canada. I will work with the Minister, and anyone else to see this horrible practice ended everywhere. https://t.co/04gMbVLDRI
— Spencer Chandra Herbert (@SChandraHerbert) December 13, 2019
Canada has apparently not kept official records regarding conversion therapy, per The Independent, but statistics published in 2018 for the U.S. show that nearly 700,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered adults have been subjected to this cruel treatment. Sadly, additional research shows that another 57,000 youths will be subjected to this “therapy” before reaching adulthood, all at the hands of religious advisers.
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