General News

Canada to criminalise LGBTQ+ conversion therapy

Rachel Badham October 4, 2020

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau

Canada has reintroduced a previously unsuccessful bill to criminalise the practice of LGBTQ+ conversion therapy after past efforts were interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. The bill was presented once again to the House of Commons on Thursday 1 October but as of yet, no voting date has been set. Canadian prime minster Justin Trudeau told reporters: “Conversion therapy is harmful, degrading, and has no place in Canada … I hope that all parties will do the right thing by supporting this bill.”

According to GLAAD, conversion therapy is “any attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression”. The organisation found nearly 700,000 LGBTQ+ adults in the US alone had been subjected to the practice, leaving them six times more likely to experience depression. Studies untaken by the Canadian government also discovered 20% of gay, bisexual, trans and gender non-conforming men in the country had undergone conversion therapy.


In the UK, conversion therapy has not yet been outlawed. Prime minister Boris Johnson described the practice as ‘abhorrent’ but has not yet taken action to ban it. In September, Johnson was collectively urged by religious leaders from the Ozanne Foundation to criminalise the discredited practice, in the hope the UK will shortly follow in the footsteps of other countries which are taking steps to protect the LGBTQ+ community from conversion therapy.