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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for a ban on so-called conversion therapy in his country.
Trudeau in a letter he sent to Attorney General David Lametti on Dec. 13 directed him to work with Diversity, Inclusion and Youth Minister Bardish Chagger “to amend” Canada’s Criminal Code “to ban the practice of conversion therapy and take other steps required with the provinces and territories to end conversion therapy in Canada.”
Trevor Project Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs Sam Brinton applauded Trudeau.
“When state leaders like Prime Minister Trudeau prioritize the protection of LGBTQ youth on the global stage, it sends a message to young people around the world that they are not alone and that they should be proud of who they are,” said Brinton in a press release.
Trudeau on Oct. 21 won reelection, even though a picture of him in brownface that emerged before the election sparked outrage and tarnished his reputation. Trudeau’s Liberal Party lost its majority in Parliament.
The conversion therapy ban is part of Trudeau’s government’s priorities for its second term.
Trudeau in 2017 formally apologized to those who suffered persecution and discrimination under Canada’s anti-LGBTQ laws and policies. Trudeau in a speech he delivered in the Canadian House of Commons also said the government agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by those who were forced to leave the Canadian military and civil service because of their sexual orientation.
A law that added gender identity to Canada’s nondiscrimination and hate crimes law took effect in 2017. Canada the following year joined the Global Equality Fund, a public-private partnership the U.S. launched in order to promote LGBTQ rights around the world.
Canada would become one of a handful of countries to prohibit conversion therapy if the ban becomes law.
This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National LGBT Media Association.