In a motion in which he calls the practice seriously harmful, Vision Vancouver Councillor Tim Stevenson has put forward a proposal to ban businesses in Vancouver that practice gay conversion therapy.
“The practice of ‘conversion therapy’ or ‘reparative therapy,’ pseudo-scientific
techniques that attempt to persuade persons to change their sexual orientation or
gender identity, is seriously harmful to persons and is opposed by the Canadian
Psychological Association, the World Health Organization, the American
Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association and others,” the motion reads.
It adds that the City of Vancouver is strongly committed to supporting the
equality and human rights of the LGBTQ2+ community and all city residents.
The City’s LGBTQ commission also put forward a similar proposal late last year.
It also noted that sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity expression are prohibited grounds of discrimination, according to the BC Human Rights Code.
The motion also seeks to bring Vancouver in line with not just other cities, but other provinces in Canada that have banned conversion therapy practices, including Ontario and Manitoba.
His motion also notes that the City is authorized to prohibit businesses, with a unanimous vote of Council.
“Therefore, be it resolved that Council support, in principle, amending the Business Prohibition By-law to prohibit the business of providing conversion therapy to minors,” it concludes.
Cities with rainbow crosswalks
In a separate motion, Stevenson also proposes that the City take a leadership role in encouraging other municipalities to install rainbow crosswalks, as a way to increase the visual representation of the LGBTQ2S+ community.
“A number of local governments… would benefit from standardized guidelines on how to implement such projects,” the motion reads. “Therefore, be it resolved the Government of British Columbia be requested to inform and advise local governments on best practices to handle such requests, and to provide financial and technical support to local governments regarding visual representations of the LGBTQ2S+ community, such as rainbow crosswalks.”