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Council to consider conversion therapy ban
Published Tuesday, April 16, 2019 6:12PM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 16, 2019 6:46PM MDT
A city councillor wants to ban the so-called conversion therapy in Edmonton.
Conversion therapy is a practice that attempts to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity through counselling or even electroshock therapy.
“It’s anything but therapy; some even call it torture,” MacEwan University professor Dr. Kristopher Wells told CTV News. “It’s largely based in shame, guilt; seeing a person’s sexual orientation or their gender identity as a disorder or as a problem that’s in need of some sort of cure.”
Pam Rocker, director at Affirming Connections, a non-profit that works with the LGBTQ2S+ community, told CTV News this practice often leads to suicide.
Vancouver unanimously banned conversion therapy in 2018. Ward 4 Councillor Aaron Paquette wants Edmonton to follow suit.
“This is something that’s a real problem, so at the end of the day, we really shouldn’t be condoning it.”
Paquette asked administration to provide a report on how licensing for conversion therapy in Edmonton works, how other municipalities are ending the practice and how Edmonton could ban it.
The report is due in 12 weeks.
With files from CTV Edmonton’s Regan Hasegawa