Canada Poised to Ban Conversion Therapy This Fall

An important human rights bill passes in the House of Commons vote under Prime Minister Trudeau but has been placed on pause by the Senate until the fall, as Canada continues to protect more LGBTQ+ rights.

News Triston Brewer

This article was published on July 6th, 2021

A pledge by Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau to ban LGBT conversion therapy has been delayed until at the earliest September, after an effort to recall the Senate over the summer to deal with the bill failed to pass the final legislative step in late June. The bill easily passed the House of Commons with a majority vote.

Canada’s Senate held special sittings earlier in the last week of June to handle the raft of bills passed last week by the House of Commons before the summer break, including adopting the key budget bill late in the week. The passing of so many bills further demonstrated the vote of confidence in the Trudeau Liberal government. 

A late push hung in the balance.

A push by the government’s representative in the Senate to increase sittings across the summer to deal with outstanding business, like the conversion therapy bill, was blocked in a vote.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on Wednesday vented to reporters she was frustrated that the Senate did not see-through Bill C-6, amending the Criminal Code, which passed by Canada’s House of Commons 263 to 63 last week. In a quote, she stated:

“Disappointed is too weak a word. This is something that would really help Canadians and not doing it really hurts a lot of people.”

Conversion therapy is under fire by the AMA.

Designed to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, conversion therapy can include the following: talk therapy, hypnosis, electric shocks, and fasting. The American Medical Association (AMA) has condemned the practice, calling it “harmful and ineffective.”

Conservative Senator Don Plett said the push to fast-track the bill had more to do with Trudeau’s Liberals scoring political points ahead of an expected election, which could come as early as September.

“Liberals are playing politics with important bills again,” he took to social media to tweet this Wednesday.

This simply isn’t the case. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been a steadfast supporter of the LGBTQ+, Indigenous, and other minority communities. The Trudeau government are supporters of all human rights, in Canada, and on the world stage. Passing the conversion therapy ban bill is an integral part of the ongoing efforts to protect LGBTQ+ rights in Canada. 

The bill returns for consideration in late September.

The bill will be considered when the Senate returns in late September, though if an election is called before that time, the legislation will die along with other unfinished business.

This is the second attempt to pass conversion therapy ban laws in Canada in as many years. Other jurisdictions across Canada have brought in similar legislation until the Federal legislation can be passed.

Trudeau, whose Liberals currently have a minority government, is eyeing a snap election to capitalize on Canada’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic to come back with a majority government lead, two sources reported Reuters.

As this political news continues to unfold, HomoCulture will update our audience with the latest. 

What are your thoughts on Canada and other countries banning conversion therapy? Sound off in the comment section below.

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