calgary conversion therapy

Calgary officially bans LGBT conversion therapy and the vote is unanimous

Calgary has officially banned LGBT conversion therapy after a vote on Monday, February 3.

The Government of Alberta defines conversion therapy as "any treatment, counselling, or behaviour modification that aims to change someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression."

Calgary's vote to ban conversion therapy was unanimous.

A rainbow-clad crowd at the council meeting burst into cheers and applause when the city announced the decision.

Over a hundred LGBTQ+ community members and supporters flooded the steps of city hall afterwards, cheerfully waving homemade signs and rainbow flags.

A group of protestors in support of conversion therapy were also among the crowd outside of city hall.

Their signs urged council members to "re-word" the motion.

Notably, the crowd in support of the vote greatly outnumbered the protestors.

Councillor Jeromy Farkas, who is openly bisexual, teared up as he recounted his own experience coming out.

According to the Calgary Herald, Farkas told the council, "When another person in authority, someone I trusted and admired, approached me and said that I could, more or less, pray the ‘me’ away, I felt humiliated."

"Some will say that this is virtue signalling, but is it worth it to send a signal about the kind of city we are and we want to be? Damn straight.”

As Farkas implied, the ban is largely symbolic at this point.

Unless the Canadian Federal government pass a law stating that conversion therapy is a criminal offence, Calgary won't be able to fully persecute law-breakers.

However, Calgary will draft a bylaw that enforces fines for anyone found offering the practice.

Alberta cities Edmonton and St. Albert have already banned the controversial practice.

In Vancouver — the first place in Canada to ban conversion therapy — the law has been in place for a year now.

Most Calgarians are thrilled to be joining the fight against conversion therapy.

This local radio host proudly showed her support.

And this woman cried when she heard the news.

This person proved that the Christian and LGBTQ+ communities can support one another.

And this woman celebrated with rainbow-coloured hearts.

The Liberal government rejected a public effort to ban conversion therapy on a federal level in March 2019.

However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to openly support the ban, calling conversion therapy a "scientifically discredited practice" that is harmful to everyone.

Lead photo by

Kristopher Wells

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