Exciting news out of Ottawa where Parliament has just voted to ban “Conversion Therapy” across the country! This legislation amends the Criminal Code to criminalize:
- Forcing someone to undergo conversion therapy without their consent,
- Causing a child to undergo conversion therapy or removing a child from Canada with the intention that the child be subjected to conversion therapy outside Canada,
- Promoting or advertising an offer to provide conversion therapy; and
- Receiving financial or other material benefits from the provision of conversion therapy.
This fulfills a long-standing request by TRUSU, the B.C. government, and hundreds of other community organizations across the country to protect LGBTQ+ people, especially children, from psychological harm done to them under the auspices of “conversion therapy.” Discovering our own sexual orientation and gender identity is a deeply personal process that deserves support and understanding, not shame and psychological violence. Banning conversion therapy will help ensure that conversations about LGBTQ+ identities moving forward are based in science and respect.
A big thank you to the over 1,300 students, faculty, staff, and community members who joined our campaign to pressure the government to make this change! Without people like you helping in Kamloops and across the country this step forward would not be possible.
“Conversion therapy” is the pseudo-scientific practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions. The Canadian Psychological Association and most medical bodies condemn these practices, confirm they don’t work and are actually harmful to LGBTQ+ people to be subjected to, especially children. Conversion therapy is currently banned in Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, the city of Vancouver, and dozens of countries around the world.
The TRUSU Equity Committee was proud to lead a local campaign to raise awareness about conversion therapy and was pleased to have had over 1,300 students, faculty, staff, and community members petition the Provincial government to ban this harmful practice in BC. We were pleased that the Provincial government agreed and intervened to ask the Federal government to amend the Criminal Code to ban the practice in August of 2019.
For more information contact:
Vice President Equity