The west coast, Canadian City of Vancouver will soon make a decision on plans to ban harmful ‘gay conversion’ therapies within its city limits.
The proposed ban, which was recommended by its LGBTI advisory committee, strongly condemns “pseudoscientific practices” that attempt to “cure” LGBTI people.
Referencing a report from the Pan American Health Organisation and the World Health Organisation that says such practices “lack medical justification and are ethically unacceptable,” the committee says such treatments “represent a severe threat to the health and human rights” of their subjects.
Brooklyn Fowler, who is chair of the LGBT advisory committee’s subcommittee on conversion therapy, is confident council will adopt the recommendation saying, “Knowing the makeup of our current city council, our mayor, the kinds of ethics, the incredible dedication that this council has shown to queer and trans communities in Vancouver, I really think that this is something that they will all likely jump on.”
While the city currently already has a bylaw that allows it to regulate businesses in order to protect public health and safety and vulnerable populations, the subcommittee wants the city to amend the current bylaw, essentially refusing the granting of a licence to any business found to be practising conversion therapy.
Fowler adds that having such policy in writing is extremely important, and says that “there is huge value in the symbolic nature of having our municipal government stand in clear solidarity with queer and trans Vancouverites.”
Should Vancouver adopt the recommendation and ban such therapies, it will become the first city in Canada to do so, following both Manitoba and Ontario who recently banned payment for conversion therapy, and Ontario outright banned healthcare professionals from conducting conversion therapy on minors without their explicit consent.