July 18, 2018 12:34 pm
Updated: July 18, 2018 12:54 pm

Nova Scotia PCs to introduce bill banning gay-conversion therapy   

Karla MacFarlane speaks to the media on Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

Sarah Ritchie / Global News

The interim leader of Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative Party is calling for members of the House of Assembly to come together and ban conversion therapy for youth in the province.

In a media release on Wednesday morning, Karla MacFarlane said the official Opposition will bring a bill forward in the fall session that will see LGBTQ youth protected from conversion therapy.

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“It’s necessary for us, as human decency. I want our youth, I want everyone to know that Nova Scotia is a province of diversity [and] inclusion,” MacFarlane said at the legislature on Wednesday.

“It’s something that’s very dear to me, and I figure that if it’s dear to me, it’s dear to so many other Nova Scotians.”

READ MORE: Nova Scotia LGBTQ groups asking church to cancel speakers with anti-gay message

Conversion therapy – sometimes known as “reparative therapy” or “gay culture therapy” – is the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It has been linked to depression and suicide among LGBTQ youth.

The British government moved to ban gay-conversion therapy earlier this month, claiming it will “eradicate the abhorrent practice.”

Conversion therapy has been widely debunked by the medical community, but it remains legal throughout much of Canada. Ontario, Manitoba and the City of Vancouver have all moved to ban the practice.

WATCH: B.C. man fights to have gay-conversion therapy banned across Canada

MacFarlane said even though conversion therapy isn’t widely accepted, they’re moving to ban it as it is currently legal.

“We just want to ensure everyone knows that Nova Scotia is a progressive province, it’s really a non-partisan issue, and I look forward to having the NDP and the Liberals support this,” MacFarlane said.

READ MORE: N.B. retreat with controversial views on gay marriage scrapped amidst LGBTQ backlash

The bill will be introduced in either September or October.

— With files from Sarah Ritchie.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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