This article was published on June 12th, 2019
As a global leader in LGBT rights, Canada is consistently making advances towards protecting queer people. Areas of the United States and Canada are actively working to ban conversion therapy; however, the political battlefield is heating up, and provinces are standing up while others are taking a stand. It’s time to take a look at conversion therapy in Canada, and see which provinces are fighting for the bans, and which are upholding the horrible practice.
In recent weeks, two US states have banned the practice of conversion therapy: often torturous “treatments” in attempt to change someone’s sexuality. Now, the total number of states in America that ban conversion therapy is 18. Methods can include severe punishments and often rely on little no scientific research.
LGBT kids who have been forced to undergo conversion therapy have a much greater chance of depression and attempting suicide. The World Health Organization issued a statement in 2012 condemning the practice and vehemently opposes conversion therapy.
A petition and nationwide plea to forever ban conversion therapy was almost successful but failed short to pass in Ottawa in March of this year. Only three of Canada’s provinces and territories has full bans on conversion therapy, with Manitoba having first forbade the practice in 2015, followed by Ontario also in 2015, and then Nova Scotia in the fall of 2018. While Vancouver is the only city municipality in Canada banning conversion therapy, there are pushes to make it illegal in all of British Columbia.
While there are Christian and conservative groups fighting to keep it legal and using the “it’s a provincial issue” as an excuse to not pass a ban federally, there are movements throughout the country to ban it. Advocates in Saskatchewan, Yukon, and Alberta and helping lead the charge for the ban. Candidates are choosing sides and running with the ban as part of their platform.
For now, conversion therapy is still legal in 10 provinces and territories in Canada.