Earlier this week, Calgary council voted unanimously to ban conversion therapy, becoming Canada’s largest jurisdiction to do so.
Conversion therapy is controversial at best and, honestly, delusional. The pseudoscientific “treatment” aims to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity using psychological or spiritual interventions. It’s like Peter Popoff using Goop products on the Dr. Phil show.
Calgary councillors did not mince words, calling the practice “sad,” “horrific,” and “barbaric.”
The World Health Organization and the Canadian Physiological Association have shot down conversion therapy as a “severe threat to the health and human rights of the affected persons.”
The practice has been so vehemently discredited that it seems absurd that Canada hasn’t enforced a federal ban. In December, Justin Trudeau said Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti must ”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”. For now, it remains a municipal issue.
In the U.S., 19 states have banned conversion therapy. In Germany, it is outright illegal, with those breaking the law facing fines up to 30,000 euros.
The bylaws for Calgary’s legislation and fines for running afoul of it will be determined at a later date.