On the eve of his community’s Pride weekend, Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert is calling on the federal government to make “conversion therapy” for gay people a Criminal Code offence.
In a letter to federal Justice Minister David Lametti this week, Chandra-Herbert calls for further action against counselling intended to make people change their sexual orientation. The letter is co-signed by B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Attorney General David Eby.
The letter notes that B.C. has already forbidden conversion therapy in its public health care system, as other provinces have done. The City of Vancouver has also passed a bylaw banning the practice, although it’s not clear where or when it has been offered in the province.
“We encourage anyone in B.C. who has been impacted by this so-called treatment being offered to file a complaint,” the letter states.
“As communities across B.C. celebrate Pride, we are committed to ensuring that people of all sexual orientations and gender identities can live without fear or discrimination. If you are gay, you do not need to be fixed.”
Lametti wrote to provinces in June, asking for them to prohibit conversion therapy in public health care systems.
The B.C. Green Party proposed legislation in May that would stop the use of conversion therapy for anyone under 19 years old.
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