Canada bans conversion therapy, a practice widely condemned as “modern-day child abuse”

Canada has banned “conversion therapy,” a practice that aims to change the sexual orientation of young people. The ban would be the first piece of federal legislation that regulates practices like conversion therapy nationwide, Canadian Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said. The practice has been widely condemned. Petitpas Taylor spoke about the ban during a visit to a Toronto gay and lesbian community center on Sunday, according to the Globe and Mail.

“It is a human rights breach,” Petitpas Taylor said. “Someone is hurting people and we will not tolerate it. We will protect the rights of every person in Canada.” The move has the support of the major LGBTQ groups in Canada, including the Center for Equality and Human Rights in Canada, the National LGBTQ Task Force and the Arc of Canada. Premier Doug Ford of Ontario and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister have already condemned the practice as a form of “modern-day child abuse,” said Brad Trost, the federal Conservative Party legislator and sponsor of the bill in Ontario, according to CBC News.

The bill is currently in second reading, and would outlaw therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of patients. Licensed therapists would be criminalized, punishable by imprisonment of up to three years. The bill will face a final reading in September, after which it will have to pass the federal Senate.

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