Thursday, December 02, 2021

With unanimous vote to ban 'ex-gay' therapy, Canada House of Commons puts America to shame

 A recent vote in Canada just demonstrated how progressive a country can be when government officials aren't caught in a strange hold by so-called religiously moral figures and false precepts.

From The Hill:

Canada’s House of Commons on Wednesday voted unanimously to outlaw LGBTQ+ conversion therapy, a rare example of harmony in a Parliament often fraught with discord. The bill, first proposed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government in March of last year, will now go to the upper Senate chamber for approval. An earlier version of the bill died after the government prorogued Parliament last August and was reintroduced the following October.

 “There are clearly people in the Conservative caucus who exercised a great deal of leadership on the issue, and I thank them,” Canada’s Liberal justice minister, David Lametti, told reporters Wednesday. “This is what we can do when parliament works together.” "We said we wanted people to be on the right side of history on this issue. No one can consent to torture," Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault, one of eight openly queer, trans, and Two-Spirit candidates elected to Parliament this year, told reporters Wednesday. 

According to The Guardian:

The governing Liberals had made repeated attempts to pass legislation banning the practice, which aims to change individuals’ sexual orientation or gender identity, and has been deemed harmful by health experts globally. The Liberals first introduced the bill in March 2020, but it died after the government prorogued parliament. Trudeau’s party reintroduced the bill again but it died when parliament dissolved ahead of the September federal election. 

 The Conservative leader, Erin O’Toole, has become an outspoken proponent of LGBTQ rights since taking control of the party. By voting to fast-track the bill, lawmakers avoid having to record their vote. Previously, 62 Conservatives voted against the motion in June. The bill will now go to the senate for a separate vote before it becomes law.

 A recent UN report found that conversion practices are performed in at least 68 countries, although experts say some version of conversion practice is still found in all nations. Aversion therapy, where a person is subjected to a “negative, painful or otherwise distressing sensation”– including electric shocks – to create a negative association, has been used in many countries. 

 The vote puts Canada one step closer to joining a small number of nations – Brazil, Ecuador, Germany and Malta – that have outright banned the practice.

Canada's vote is a stark contrast to some of what's happening in America these days. While Canadian officials are working together to ensure fairness for all of their citizens,  the autonomy of certain facets of our government seem to be under attack with the end result being the personal beliefs of conservative evangelicals taking precedent in issues such as  women's health, simple LGBTQ fairness, the fight against the COVID pandemic, and the taxpayer subsidization of private religious schooling.

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