Last Friday, a Canadian law directly banning conversion therapy came into effect. The law criminalizes the promotion of services intended to force change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender expression.
the New York Times said the new ban also prohibits forcing someone into conversion therapy, taking minors abroad to participate in therapy and promoting or advertising the practice. In case of violation, the penalties can result in up to five years imprisonment.
“No one should ever have to go through something like this that essentially criminalizes something that is beyond their control,” said Alina Taylor, a marketing student. “I am delighted that Canada has decided to ban it, and I hope the United States will follow suit shortly thereafter.”
The federal law joins municipal and provincial laws in the provinces of Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Ontario and Nova Scotia prohibiting conversion therapy.
After two attempts last year to pass the law, David Lametti, Minister of Justice of Canada, and Marci Ien, Minister of Women, Gender Equality and Youth, have revived the movement to put it into effect. square.
Introducing new amendments to the ban, they said it would make the nation’s protections against conversion therapy among “the most comprehensive in the world.”
The new bill elicited different reactions from a range of people, offering conversations and questions.
“We need to have a conversation about this as a human rights violation and not as a religious issue,” said Gene Dockery, a PhD. student advising education and supervision student, said in an email. “No one has the right to torture other people, even if they sincerely believe that LGBTQ + people are sinners.”
This time around, these new additions to the law have strengthened that third attempt by expanding it to protect both adults and minors.
As a result, the bill was passed unanimously by the House of Commons on December 1 and the Senate on December 7. As a result of these events, on December 8, he received Royal Assent, 30 days until the bill would take effect.
While some controversy has arisen, it looks like other countries will soon follow Canada’s lead in banning conversion therapy. The French parliament voted on December 14 to ban the practice and other countries like India, Malta, Ecuador and Germany have adopted some form of legislative protection against it.
Meanwhile, 20 states in the United States and Washington, DC, have passed laws banning conversion therapy.
Even though progress has been made, all of these countries still face problems when they attempt to successfully ban conversion therapy. Some conversion therapy practitioners avoid detection, sometimes changing the names of their programs to obscure the reality of their work. Additionally, in health care facilities, doctors have denied trans people access to hormones.
“I think it’s also difficult because we (the United States) don’t have a systematic health care policy,” said Alyx McLuckie, research and wellness coordinator at the LGBT Center.
McLuckie said conversion therapy is viewed as a negative practice by various medical associations in the United States and the World Health Organization.
“We find that people in the past did not need enormous credibility to engage in these practices,” McLuckie said. “It’s not, in some cases, professionals providing the service or helping people guide them on a gender journey, but rather trying to heal them. “
Alliance and solidarity with members of the LGBTQ community is what countries, like Canada, continue to improve upon.
Taylor said there is still a lot to improve and hopes other countries will follow in Canada’s footsteps.
“Even if you do not identify with the (LGBTQ) community, it is more important to ally and defend them because the number of LGBTQ lawmakers or people in power is very low, which is why for bills like for this to pass, there really have to be allies on all fronts, ”Taylor said.