Canada’s lower house of Parliament passed a bill on Tuesday that would ban public health providers from performing any kind of so-called “conversion therapy” on anyone under the age of 18, according to a BBC report. Currently, Canada is the only country in the world where such practices are legal and as the country’s minority government gears up to form a government, opposition from religious and social conservatives leaves the bill in a particularly precarious situation.
However, as Eyder Peralta reported for NPR:
If such a law passes, it’s an interesting test case for Canada’s policies on homosexuality. Since the early 2000s, Canada has been aggressive in promoting itself as a gay-friendly country, publishing articles about why being gay is fine, and raking in millions of dollars in international grants to do the same. Will treating sexual orientation with suspicion and judging same-sex relations as sinful deter LGBTQ people from coming out to their families?
Just under a year ago, Australia became the first nation to ban conversion therapy for minors after several years of debate on whether or not to make such treatment illegal.
Last week, Norway’s parliament voted to ban the practice; it’s been illegal there for the same age group since 2009. Elsewhere, several U.S. states have already banned attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation, however, the trend is still unofficial, as the language is not explicitly included in the U.S.’s federal law on mental health.