Canada joins global campaign to end ‘despicable’ conversion therapy

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Public Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has labelled the practice “despicable and degrading” Canada has joined the global effort to end conversion therapy for children and teens. The practice…

Canada joins global campaign to end 'despicable' conversion therapy

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Public Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has labelled the practice “despicable and degrading”

Canada has joined the global effort to end conversion therapy for children and teens.

The practice is used to change sexual orientation or gender identity. It is prohibited in 34 jurisdictions around the world, including the UK, US and Canada.

Transgender rights have become a major social and political issue in Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been outspoken on the issue of violence, including against trans women.

“Every parent in Canada deserves to know that they have their child’s safety, and that of their loved ones, a top priority, and that they will be able to come out if and when they want to,” he said in a statement.

Mr Trudeau backed the bill and called the therapy “despicable and degrading”.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Allan Scott, the executive director of the Canadian association of trans people, said the ban is a “huge step forward for our community”

The Commons on Monday passed the End Child and Youth Therapy for Deranged Persons Act.

Ottawa Public Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor told the BBC that the government is “committed to a system that treats the diversity of our community as we experience it”.

The Edmonton regional association of schools also announced it would bar therapy in its school division.

The ban – pushed through by the Liberal government – was cheered by transgender rights activists who view the practice as an abuse of power and call it a form of gender-confirmation surgery.

“I was reluctant to consider it because it feels like they’re trying to bully me into what I already know for myself,” said 18-year-old Jesse Vanderlaan, who is trans.

“I know that I’m gay and not transgender so I thought they’d be pushing me in a direction that I don’t want to go.”

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Prime Minister has previously been vocal on the issue of violence against trans women

Starting at 17, I will be brought out by an actor.

I will grow out of the hair because it symbolises my gender.

It will look like it always has.

This process will be performed by someone who has to be forced into it.

That is the only way I know. — Jesse Vanderlaan

He used social media to communicate his distress, later posting on Facebook: “I was hesitant to consider it because it feels like they’re trying to bully me into what I already know for myself.

“I know that I’m gay and not transgender so I thought they’d be pushing me in a direction that I don’t want to go.”

On Monday, he said: “Now I’m saying to myself if I said the word ‘tranny’ before, they’d beat me.

“Now, I feel like they’ve bought in to my story and my decision-making.”

Is Canadian law more than sufficient?

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