Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

The therapy ban bill cheered

A Kelowna-based group in favor of positive change on key issues concerning the LGBTQ community has welcomed the first reading of Bill C-4, which would ban conversion therapy across Canada.

Several previous attempts to change the penal code and ban this practice were unsuccessful, most recently earlier this year were rejected when Trudeau called a quick election.

Advocacy Canada founder Wilbur Turner says the new bill, introduced by Attorney General David Lametti, is the most comprehensive version of the bill, with improvements to protect more Canadians from these harmful practices.

“It is important to ensure that all Canadians are protected against this practice, which has been shown to have no benefits and which has been shown to cause lasting harm to people who have fallen victim to it. This should not be a party political issue, therefore, we urge all MPs to quickly approve this important piece of legislation, ‚ÄĚTurner said.

“We expect nothing less than full cooperation from our elected representatives in Okanagan, and we hope they understand the seriousness of this problem.”

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray came under fire from the local LGBTQ community when she voted against the previous bill in June.

Gray stated at the time that she supported a ban, but felt that the wording of the bill needed improvement.

Turner says sexual orientation and gender identity and expression change efforts are “deeply damaging, scientifically discredited practices targeting vulnerable LGBTQ2S Canadians.”

He says all levels of government should work to undermine practices while supporting the development of positive, affirmative action programs and services.

Turner says as many as one in five sexual minority men report having experienced sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and of those, nearly 40 percent have experienced conversion therapy, according to a 2021 report.

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