This article was published on March 4th, 2019
As the 2019 Federal election in Canada is just around the bend, many groups are pushing to have their issues brought to the forefront of the national stage. One such group, It Gets Better Canada, has formally requested of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that conversion therapy on LGBT youth be forever banned in the great nation of Canada. Canada has always been the leader on the world stage for LGBT rights. The ban on conversion therapy could become a major issue in the run up to the 2019 federal election if it’s not immediately addressed by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party.
Less than two months ago, New York state became the 15thstate in the United States banning the practice of conversion therapy on gay youth. 50 cities across the United States, as well as the District of Columbia, now have a permanent ban against the practice. And for good reason—conversion therapy is a practice promoting the idea that queer people can be “cured” of being homosexual with the “right” kind of “treatment”.
Some of these “treatments” involve cruel, outdated practices like physical abuse and electro-shock therapy. Most kids who walk away from conversion therapy having years of psychological issues they have to work through later on in life to handle the concept of parents who forced their children to undergo these insanely awful practices. David Matheson, one of the top conversion therapists in the United States, just came out as gay and denounced conversion therapy as outdated and ineffective.
Now in 2019, We Matter, PFLAG, and It Gets Better Canada have joined forces to forever ban conversion therapy in Canada. A Change.org petition with nearly 70,000 signatures, along with an open letter, was sent to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development asking them to pass legislation forever stopping the practice of conversion therapy.
As the 2019 election looms, will the more liberal sects of government, along with the Prime Minister, hold true to fully supporting LGBTQ people, or will this ban on conversion therapy get lost in the mix? It Gets Better Canada is hoping to project the issue to be a political campaign talking point for the LGBT community. Prime Minister Trudeau, the first to walk in a gay pride parade, has been a vocal supporter of queer rights and issues. But when faced with re-election, will the PM and his party hold true to their promises of standing up for the gay community? Or will it be politics as usual?
You can be a part of history by signing the change.org petitionto forever ban conversion therapy in Canada.