Today it was reported that the UCP will be cancelling the gay conversion therapy working group; a group I was very proud to be a part of. While I had my fears that this would happen, I am deeply disappointed to have been correct. To say that this practice is banned by medical bodies thus no action is required, is incorrect and very short-sighted. Conversion therapy can be billed under the guise of other therapies and it is also practised by faith-based groups and other individuals in our communities. Additionally, minors can be forced by their parents to travel to other countries to undergo this practice. It is important that we protect our LGBTQ2S+ youth from the various ways this practice continues to take place.
The disbanding of the working group demonstrates why our youth were right to act quickly in the GSA walkout; they knew that the threat to the LGBTQ2S+ community is real. We need to be strong and vigilant in ensuring that this government does not strip our community – and other marginalized communities – of the gains we have fought so hard to achieve.
iSMSS is dedicated to ensuring we find a way to continue to work towards barring this harmful practice in Alberta.
I implore you to act and reach out to your MLA and the Minister of Health, Honourable Tyler Shandro to share your views on the importance of having this working group and implementing a ban against conversion therapy.
Honourable Tyler Shandro
Minister of Health
Office of the Minister
Dr. Glynnis Lieb,