Humanists welcome new effort to ban conversion practices in BC

The BC Humanist Association (BCHA) is joining survivors and LGBTQ2S+ advocates today in welcoming a new private members bill that would ban conversion practices in British Columbia.

The new bill, introduced by BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau today, builds off a previous private members bill in 2019 and is the second attempt to ban the dangerous and pseudoscientific practice in the province.

As these have little to do with actual "therapy", efforts to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity or expression are increasingly being called conversion practices (rather than conversion therapy). There is no scientific evidence of their effectiveness and ample evidence of their harms.

The provincial government refused to support the previous bill to ban conversion therapy in BC, suggesting it's better dealt with by the federal government. However, since then the federal government has twice introduced a bill to ban the practices, only for it to die on the order paper when Parliament was prorogued and then dissolved for an election.

"We've had too much talk about banning these practices, it's time for BC to act," said BCHA Executive Director Ian Bushfield. "This private members bill will supplement federal legislation, if and when it passes, and close any loopholes where these practices might otherwise continue."

No Conversion Canada is calling on supporters of the bill to write to their MLA.

If the bill passes, BC will join Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, the Yukon and Quebec in banning conversion practices provincially.

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