OTTAWA, ON – March 09, 2020 —
The federal government is set to introduce legislation towards a nationwide conversion therapy ban today. This follows a 2019 campaign promise by the Liberal government to amend the Criminal Code to ban conversion therapy. The practice of conversion therapy, which has been deemed as as serious threat to health and well-being of those affected, by the Canadian Psychological Association, is a discredited practice aimed at changing one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
In March 2019, Pflag Canada sent a letter to the offices of Justin Trudeau, endorsing a nationwide petition to end conversion therapy, spearheaded by It Gets Better Canada. While the federal government acknowledged the practice’s harms, it rejected the plea to end conversion therapy, stating that governing it fell to provinces and territories. In light of today’s recent developments, Omid Razavi, Director of Communication for Pflag Canada, says that their organization applauds the government for introducing action to amend the Criminal Code to ban conversion therapy nationwide.
“The practice of conversion therapy can lead to serious long term harm for any individual exposed to this “pseudo-therapy, including: self-hatred, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicide. We are hopeful that this is the first step towards definitive action from the federal government in recognizing the destructive harm of conversion therapy.”
With over 55 chapters nationwide, offering monthly meetings, Pflag Canada offers peer-to-peer support for anyone struggling with their gender identity or gender identity of a loved one. Pflag Canada President, Bev Belanger, urges anyone considering conversion therapy as a “solution” towards addressing sexual orientation, to better understand the trauma it causes and to attend a Pflag peer support meeting instead.
“Members of the LGBTQ2S community who are coming to terms with their sexual orientation require mindful support, patience, and a nurturing environment. Our meetings are led by shared experiences driven by messages of hope and are open to anyone willing to educate themselves and are motivated to better understand their struggles or the struggles of a loved one.”
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About Pflag Canada: Pflag Canada is a national charitable organization, founded by parents who wished to help themselves and their family members understand and accept their LGBTQ2S children. We support these families through today, and give them hope for a better tomorrow. Uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ2S) with families, friends, and allies, Pflag is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.