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Canada reintroduces federal bill to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy

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Canada reintroduces bill to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reintroduced a bill to legislation to ban all LGBTQ conversion practices on Thursday, Oct. 1. The ban on LGBTQ conversion therapy and practices was one of the promises Trudeau had during the 2019 election cycle. 

The bill was first tabled in March, now that it is back, the hope is to be able to ban all conversion practices in Canada. If the bill is passed, David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, told reporters that Canada would have the most progressive and comprehensive laws in the world regarding LGBTQ conversion practices. 

The bill will not force consenting adults who are seeking religious or other counsel but will restrict anyone from being forced into a harmful situation. Cities such as Vancouver and Calgary have already put plans in motion to ban conversion therapy. 

According to NBC News, conversion therapy is “any practice designed to change a person’s sexual orientation, which especially harms and stigmatizes those belonging to the lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans community.” 

Cities such as Vancouver and Calgary have already put plans in motion to ban conversion therapy. The bill restricts adults from forcing minors to participate in conversion therapy and practices. However, it will not restrict someone from seeking religious or other forms of counseling to help support those who are struggling with sexual orientation or gender identity. 

According to The Guardian, “the proposed amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code include offenses such as causing a person to undergo ‘conversion therapy,’ advertising and profiting from conversion therapy and removing a minor from Canada.” 

Trudeau told reporters on Thursday he believes conversion therapy is harmful and does not have a place in Canada. He hopes the voting parties will vote in support of the bill. 

Campaign Coalition for Life (CLC) national campaign manager David Cooke told Global News that he will continue to guide Canadians to what he calls “reparative” therapy, even if the bill passes. 

“We stand behind what we say. We believe in helping people who want help with their unwanted same-sex attraction or unwanted gender dysphoria,” he told Global News.  

Cooke told Global news that he believes conversion therapy will help people, but he will not force someone to participate in treatment. He included that the CLC does not believe in electroshock therapy. 

In the United States, there are only 20 states that have criminalized LGBTQ conversion practices, leaving 29 states that have no laws against the practice. North Carolina only has a partial ban on conversion therapy. 

Of the 29 states that do not have protection laws against conversion therapy, 12 of those states have certain cities that will provide protection for LGBTQ members seeking asylum.  

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