Canada’s federal government has introduced a bill that would ban harmful gay conversion therapy nationwide. The bill was introduced by David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth.
The Canadian Press reports: “Bill C-8 proposes five new Criminal Code offences. In addition to the ban on conversion therapy for minors, the legislation would outlaw removing a minor from Canada for the purpose of obtaining conversion therapy abroad. Both those offences would be punishable by up to five years in prison, as would forcing an adult to undergo conversion therapy against their will. The bill also proposes to make it an offence to profit from providing conversion therapy and to advertise an offer to provide conversion therapy — both punishable by up to two years in prison. The new offences would not apply to those who provide support to individuals questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, such as parents, friends, teachers, doctors, mental health professionals, school or pastoral counsellors and faith leaders.”
Said Lametti: “Conversion therapy is a cruel practice that can lead to life-long trauma, particularly for young people. The approach we are proposing today demonstrates our Government’s strong commitment to protecting the dignity and equality rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit Canadians, by criminalizing a practice that discriminates against and harms them. If passed, this bill would make Canada’s laws on conversion therapy the most progressive and comprehensive in the world.”
Said Chagger: “We all have a role to play to make sure LGBTQ2 persons feel safe and can fully participate in Canadian society. The progressive legislation we proposed today will help to ensure that everyone, everywhere in Canada can be who they truly are, and live full, healthy, and safe lives.”