Conversion therapy, a harmful and scientifically discredited practice that seeks to change the sexual orientation, sexual behaviours or gender identity of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two Spirit (“LGBTQ2S”) persons, may soon be criminalized in Canada.
On October 1, 2020, the Government of Canada reintroduced Bill C-6, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy) (“Bill C-6”). Bill C-6 proposes to amend the Criminal Code to prohibit certain conversion-therapy-related conduct. These proposed amendments are the same as those that were proposed by Bill C-8 during a previous session of Parliament.
With respect to the proposed changes, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada was quoted in this news release from the Department of Justice:
“Conversion therapy is a cruel practice that can lead to life-long trauma, particularly for young people. Our Government remains steadfast in our 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.”
This article provides background information on conversion therapy and outlines the changes proposed to the Criminal Code by Bill C-6.