YQueerL group welcomes possible Conversion Therapy ban
The Lethbridge LGBTQ+ community is hailing a proposed provincewide ban on the controversial practice of Conversion Therapy in Alberta. Devon Hargreaves, co-president of YQueerL Society for Change, told The Herald the ban, included in a private members bill by Edmonton-Castle Downs NDP MLA Nicole Goehring, was long past due.
“It’s 2018, and there is no reason that Conversion Therapy should still be legal,” said Hargreaves. “We applaud MLA Nicole Goehring’s private member bill to ban Conversion Therapy, and we do hope the government supports it wholeheartedly.”
Conversion Therapy is a pseudoscientific practice which believes it is possible to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions.
“The issue we have with that,” said Hargreaves, “besides the mental, emotional and sometimes physical scarring of the practice, is that it is based in an inherent belief that being queer is wrong. To try to change one’s orientation on this type moral or religious basis is actually what is wrong, and it is morally reprehensible. To try to forcefully change how a child or individual identifies just because it doesn’t fit your moral code is ruffian.”
Hargreaves points out if Alberta goes through with the ban it would not be the first province or jurisdiction in Canada to do so.
“Right now Ontario and Manitoba have banned it, and the City of Vancouver itself actually bans it. I really hope the Government and Opposition, and everyone involved, realizes that this is a matter of protection for queer youth, and this should be passed without being turned into a media circus.”
However, Hargreaves may not get his wish in that respect. While local NDP MLA Shannon Phillips was quick to endorse the bill when it was announced earlier this week, UCP leader Jason Kenney was non-committal on the issue when he visited Lethbridge Friday.
"We haven't seen the bill," Kenney told reporters. "We don't comment on legislation we haven't seen."
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