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Canada bans “conversion therapy”

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Canada adopted a law on Wednesday December 8 banning “conversion therapy”. Notable fact: the text was approved unanimously.

Once the decision was confirmed, all that was needed was the royal assent signed by Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, for these “conversion therapies” to be definitively banned.

In addition to outlawing this practice, the law also makes any profit related to them criminal. Offenders face penalties ranging from two to five years in prison.

In the text, “conversion therapy” is described as: “Practice seeking to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender.”

Several studies, most of them Anglo-Saxon, have demonstrated the devastating consequences on the mental health and the lives of people who are victims of this practice.

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A bill also in France

Across the Atlantic, in France, the Senate voted in favor of a similar law last Tuesday. The text, which was adopted under the accelerated procedure, must now be the subject of a joint committee and should be promulgated soon.

In France, conversion therapies have existed for more than thirty years. However, it is only very recently that the victims have started to talk about their traumas, in particular online via the keyword # Nothing Heal.

Laurence Vanceunebrock, LREM MP, took up the subject from the start of Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term by tabling a bill to ban “conversion therapy”.

“When I was seized of the subject in 2017, I knew the extent of the phenomenon in the United States, but not on the national territory. I started to do some research and, quickly, I realized that there were different kinds of conversion therapy, ”she explained in an interview with Franceinfo.

From a legislative point of view, however, it is possible that the joint committee cannot find an agreement. In this case, it will be up to the National Assembly, which adopted the law unanimously, to decide again.

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