A United Nations expert has stated that Canada’s proposed legislation to ban children or adults from entering into so-called ‘conversion’ therapy could help further LGBT+ rights globally.
Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, stated that bills such as the one tabled by the federal Liberals earlier this month are one of the most effective ways to protect and advance LGBT+ rights.
Among other things, the bill would make it illegal to profit from providing conversion therapy or to advertise it.
As ‘Toronto City News’ reports, the bill has the support of Canada’s main political leaders, but new Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has accused the government of introducing a divisive piece of legislation just as he was taking over the party.
Some Conservative MPs have vocally opposed an earlier version of the bill, while one of O’Toole’s leadership opponents, MP Derek Sloan, said it amounts to “effectively putting into law child abuse.”
Madrigal-Borloz said governments have a variety of options for stopping conversion therapy, including banning it at the practitioner level of psychologists, physicians and individual agencies.
“In some cases, you have blanket bans, which is I think, as close to what Canada is getting to,” said Madrigal-Borloz.
“I find that this type of more encompassing disposition is probably the very best when it comes to the practices that I’ve seen around the world.
“These will have an impact in Canada but will also have a global impact when it comes to practices of other states that are currently having that discussion.”
Madrigal-Borloz said it is his job to examine how violence and discrimination manifests itself in the experiences of LGBT+ people and to advise states on what they can do to end it.
“I use real examples of real states that are actually working on these issues, to bring about what has been proven to work in other contexts,” he said.
In the case of the proposed Canadian law, he said, “those practices and those parallels can be drawn to inspire other states.”
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