LGBTQ2 advocate Gerard Veldhoven is proud to support PC leader Karla MacFarlane’s efforts to ban conversion therapy in Nova Scotia.
When Veldhoven heard that guest speakers were invited to speak about conversion therapy at a camp in Pugwash over the summer, he was horrified.
“I felt sick to my stomach,” says Veldhoven. “The root of LGBTQ2 discrimination lies in a lack of understanding – understanding that people do not choose to be a certain way or love a certain way. They simply are who they are.”
Veldhoven is relieved to know that the first step has been taken to protect Nova Scotia’s LGBTQ2 youth from harmful conversion therapies.
Progressive Conservative leader Karla MacFarlane introduced a bill today in the Legislature to ban conversion therapy for youth under 18 years of age. It also prohibits conversion therapy from being an insured service for anyone.
“Minister Delorey condemned the Pugwash incident over the summer,” says MacFarlane. “I urge the minister and all members of the House of Assembly to put words into action and pass this bill.”
Conversion therapy, the practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions, has been linked to depression and suicide in LGBTQ2 youth.
Veldhoven says this bill will be more than just protection to LGBTQ2 youth. It will be a declaration.
“I know that the world will always have darkness. There will always be discrimination of some kind,” says Veldhoven. “But with this bill, Nova Scotia can join other provinces who have said unequivocally that discrimination and ignorance have no place here.”