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MPs vote to ban conversion therapy in Canada

Rachel Badham December 2, 2021

Canada’s House of Commons has voted unanimously to ban LGBTQ+ conversion therapy in what has been dubbed a “great day for survivors” of the controversial practice. According to the BBC, the bill would make it illegal to practise conversion therapy on minors or anybody unwilling to undergo it, with it now going to a vote in the upper chamber of parliament where a previous version of the bill was unsuccessful. 

The bill was first proposed by prime minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party, with Trudeau himself describing conversion therapy as “harmful” and “degrading”. Tourism minister and LGBTQ+ advisor Randy Boissonnault praised the decision to advance the bill, saying: “No one can consent to torture…It’s a great day for survivors, to know that no-one else is going to go through what they went through.”

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.