Canadian MPs cheers as they inch closer to ban on conversion therapy

MPs in the House of Commons cheered as the legislation moved up to the Senate to vote on.


Words: Alastair James; pictures: Pexels

Canadian MPs have voted to ban so-called conversion therapy with scenes of cheering and handshaking as the legislation passed. 

The legislation, put forward by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party, was supported by all parties in the country’s House of Commons, and was passed unanimously.

It now has to be passed by the country’s Senate, where the ban has failed in the past.

“No one can consent to torture”

The legislation (if passed) would make it illegal for a child to go through the debunked practice, as well as anyone unwillingly taking part.

So-called conversion therapy seeks to change or alter a person's sexuality and/or gender identity.

Footage of the moment the legislation was passed by MPs shows all sides of the House celebrating on their feet with people crossing the opposite side of the House to shake hands with one another.

Canada’s Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault, who is also a special adviser on LGBT issues, said: "No one can consent to torture,” according to the BBC.

"It's a great day for survivors, to know that no-one else is going to go through what they went through," Boissonnault added.

Here, in the UK a ban on so-called conversion therapy has been promised since 2018. Earlier this year, the UK Government launched a consultation on the subject, which will end on 10 December, with the response due in January 2022.

A 36-page document on the consultation indicates plans for an outright ban on all forms of conversion therapy for under 18s. It then states that "consent requirements for adults seeking out talking therapy will be robust and stringent."

However, there are concerns among LGBTQ groups that some forms of the abhorrent practice will be allowed to continue via loopholes.

The UK government told Attitude in October that the consultation was in line “with those of fellow forward-thinking nations and we welcome all contributions to our consultation."

The Attitude December issue is out now.

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