A push by LGBTQ+ advocates in Lethbridge to end conversion therapy is going national.
The Canadian Psychological Association defines the practice as any “therapeutic attempt to change the sexual orientation of bisexual, gay and lesbian individuals to heterosexual,” with methods that include prayer or religious rites, modification of behaviour or individual or group counselling.
The association has condemned conversion therapy.
The YQueerL Society for Change is partnering with the Lethbridge Public Interest Research Group to launch an online petition.
E-Petition 1833 calls on the federal government to make it illegal for conversion therapy to be used on minors or to send minors outside of the country to receive it.
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It also asks for the practice to be included in the Canada Human Rights Act and Criminal Code.
“We are a progressive nation,” said Devon Hargreaves, co-president of the YQueerL Society for Change.
“The fact that individuals are still able to subject minors to the practice is appalling.”
The petition requires a minimum of 500 signatures for it to be presented in parliament.
Hargreaves says he’s confident it will receive that number but would like to see more support.
The petition was made available to the public on Thursday and is open for signatures until Jan. 18.