Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has issued a public letter to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada outlining the priorities of his department. Among the bullet points is this:
Work with the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth to amend the Criminal Code to ban the practice of conversion therapy and take other steps required with the provinces and territories to end conversion therapy in Canada.
Several places have introduced local bans including the capital city of Alberta, Edmonton but if passed this federal legislation would cover the whole of Canada. Naturally this news has raised the ire of the evangelical right wing. Campaign Life Coalition is at the forefront as it is in all efforts to push its extreme ideology.
[I]f you publicly proclaim (‘advertise’) the message that homosexuals can be saved and changed, you will go to prison… Christians could actually become criminalized for just being Christian. The Canadian government intends to make conversion efforts illegal if they are in any way directed at those who identify as LGBT.
They are particularly enraged by openly gay MP Randy Boissonault, special adviser to the PM on LGBTQ issues who has said:
The reason you criminalize conversion therapy is so that we stamp it out… so that people know that if you’re trying to change somebody’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, you’re breaking the law and you should go to jail.
Conversion therapy has been condemned by the Canadian Psychological Association so it’s clear that government is not acting on a whim but taking advice from the medical profession, which is almost entirely opposed to this so-called therapy. Professor Kristopher Wells, an expert on the harms of conversion therapy has said:
Our united goal should be to produce the best, most comprehensive legislation in the country that will adequately and effectively protect all Canadians from this incredibly deceptive, dangerous, and fraudulent practice.
Conversion therapy: Saving homosexuals from sin or dangerous, useless fraud?