Gateway Gazette

Group Exploring Measures to Ban Conversion Therapy

A Conversion Therapy Working Group will make recommendations to the Minister of Health on how to most effectively ban this dangerous and hurtful practice in Alberta.

The working group will be co-chaired by MLA Nicole Goehring and advocate Glynnis Lieb. It will include academics, representatives from health and legal professions, community advocates, faith leaders, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, subject matter experts and those with lived experience of conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy can be defined as any treatment, counselling or behaviour modification that aims to change or modify someone’s sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

“Conversion therapy is a damaging, hateful practice that has no place in our province. Albertans deserve to trust that any measures to end this practice are as strong as possible, will withstand legal challenges and have the support of those who need them most. I thank the members of the group for fighting for vulnerable Albertans, and look forward to receiving their recommendations and taking action to ban conversion therapy in Alberta.”

~Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health

“I’ve heard from Albertans and community leaders that any ban on conversion therapy must be community-driven and can’t let anyone fall through the cracks. I’m honoured to help lead this life-saving work and look forward to working with my fellow members to bring forward strong recommendations to protect Albertans and end this practice.”

~Nicole Goehring, MLA for Edmonton-Castle Downs, co-chair of Conversion Therapy Working Group

“No one deserves to be discriminated against or subject to harmful practices based on their innate sexual orientation. Conversion therapy is wrong and I’m pleased to see our government taking action to eliminate this practice in Alberta. It’s an honour to be a part of this life-saving work.”

~Glynnis Lieb, executive director of the Institute of Sexual Minority Studies and Services at University of Alberta, co-chair of Conversion Therapy Working Group

The group will meet regularly for five months and will have opportunities to engage with stakeholders and those with lived experience as part of this work. The group members will be supported by an Alberta Health staff secretariat as they prepare their final written report.

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