“LGBTQ2 rights are human rights”. That’s how you do it, Canada!
On Friday (January 7), Canada joined approximately a dozen other countries in banning conversion therapy for good, making it a criminal offence to promote or provide the archaic practice.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted yesterday:
“As of today, it’s official: Conversion therapy is banned in Canada. Our government’s legislation has come into force – which means it is now illegal to promote, advertise, benefit from, or subject someone to this hateful and harmful practice. LGBTQ2 rights are human rights.”
The change in law now means that anyone who looks to subject someone, of any age, consenting or not, to conversion therapy could face up to five years in prison. Furthermore, anyone found to be promoting, advertising, or profiting from providing the practice can face up to two years in prison.
After several attempts by Parliament to ban the practice, Bill C-4 was given royal assent – a ceremonial signing by the governor general of Canada or a deputy, after receiving unanimous support in Canada’s House of Commons and Senate – on December 8.
Under Bill C-4, several new offenses have been created within Canada’s criminal code, including:
1) Subjecting another person to conversion therapy, including by providing conversion therapy to that person.
2) Removing a child from the country with the intention of sending them to conversion therapy outside of Canada.
3) Promoting or advertising conversion therapy.
4) Receiving a financial or other material benefit from the provision of conversion therapy.
The practice of conversion therapy can take various forms but often refers to any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity, using psychological, physical, or spiritual interventions. It is based on the assumption that being lesbian, gay, bi or trans is a mental illness that can be ‘cured’.
These therapies are widely considered ineffective, unethical and harmful for anyone who undergoes the process.
After years of calls for action and failed attempts to pass a bill to ban conversion therapy, the accelerated all-party effort has been praised by political leaders as well as by LGBTQ2S+ advocates both in Canada and abroad.
An alarming 2019 report by Trans PULSE CANADA found that at least 1 in 10 trans and non-binary Canadians have undergone the dangerous practice.
Your move, UK and the rest of the world.
As of today, it’s official: Conversion therapy is banned in Canada. Our government’s legislation has come into force – which means it is now illegal to promote, advertise, benefit from, or subject someone to this hateful and harmful practice. LGBTQ2 rights are human rights.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 7, 2022