Tri-Cities Pride Society, serving eastern suburbs of Vancouver, British Columbia, has called for a ban on anti-LGBT conversion therapy across all of Canada. (Source: Tri-City News)

The society sent an open letter to legislators:

Open Letter from Tri-Cities Pride Society

The open letter reads:

Tri-Cities Pride Society acknowledges the harm conversion therapy has caused, and continues to cause, LGBTQ2+ people. Medical professionals, including the Canadian Psychological Association and the Canadian Psychiatric Association, condemn conversion therapy as a harmful practice. There is no credible scientific evidence to indicate that a person’s sexual orientation, or gender identity, can be changed. Furthermore, attempts made to force someone to live contrary to their identity are abusive and trauma-inducing. There is no place for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression as outlined in the (British Columbia) Human Rights Code and the Human Rights Act of Canada. As such: Tri-Cities Pride Society calls on the Government of British Columbia, as well as the Government of Canada, to end this archaic and unscientific practice; sending the message that our country and province will no longer tolerate these attacks on LGBTQ2+ people.

Advocates such as Peter Gajdics say existing city-specific bans leave rural LGBTQ Canadians unprotected from abusive therapists.

“When you move out of the core of Vancouver, you get into those questionable belief systems against LGBTs, against SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity),” he said. “I think the cities out in the [Fraser] Valley are the ones that are the most concerning.”

But even in urban areas, Gajdics says he’s not confident the ban is preventing people from practicing conversion therapy. Because conversion therapy works as an umbrella ideology that says LGBTQ people are inherently broken, that ideology can spring from anywhere, he said.

Antigay conversion therapy is the practice of attempting to “cure” homosexuality or “confused” gender identity by falsely accusing patients’ parents of overmothering and distant fathering, and then shaming the patient through religious practices or discredited forms of psychological counseling.

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