Gay conversion therapy, a call for protection under the law

Opinion

To the Editor:

An upcoming event in Nova Scotia has ignited a controversy that has been an issue for many years.

Through the years, “gay conversion therapy” has been practised with horrendous results. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is ready to contribute to that later in July. These are wide-spread attempts at so-called healing of a gay person and they suddenly turn into heterosexuals. Not so, according to experts. The end results of these therapies, which are conducted world-wide by mostly religious organizations, are tremendously dangerous to the victim. The therapies are bogus and cause serious harm to those involved, leading to depression, self-harm and teen suicide, which are at an all-time high. The Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project has an online opportunity for people to sign in protest to the event.

I have written to Premier Stephen McNeil’s government and the Trudeau Government suggesting they take action to ban this horrible practice. This travesty must come to a speedy end to avoid further damage to those who are subjected to these sessions, most of who are forced by family members, or are shamed by religious leaders. Irreparable damage is assured.

Gay conversion therapy is also discriminatory and that is against our social, mental and physical well-being. Protection from harm is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, and Federal and Provincial Human Rights Acts. Religious freedom is also protected, but should not be allowed to discriminate and cause damage to our very existence.

A ban to eliminate this practice must be a priority across Canada, putting in place a law that forbids these damaging, torturous practices.

Gerard Veldhoven

New Glasgow

LGBTQ+ Activist for Equal Rights