Toronto Politician Wants To Stop LGBTQ Conversion Therapy

Mar 16, 2015 at 12:28 PM ET

Provincial Parliament member Cheri DiNovo (NDP) wants to reduce the rate of LGBTQ youth suicide in Toronto. To do that, she recently introduced the Affirming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Act, which seeks to ban gay conversion therapy for people under 18, and will strike all providers of the criticized practice off the OHIP—the Canadian province’s publicly funded healthcare system.

DiNovo says she felt compelled to draft the bill in the wake of Leelah Alcorn’s suicide; the Ohio transgender teen was sent to a Christian conversion therapist a year before her death. Studies show that 41 percent of all trans or gender non-conforming people attempt suicide (data for completed suicides is harder to collate due to misgendering by family, police, coroners, and media).

“Bottom line: being lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirited, or queer is who one is. To tell a child that who they are is wrong, we consider abusive,” DiNovo said. “This bill will ban the practice of conversion or reparative therapy for any child 18 and under, and will de-list it from OHIP for those over 18. I think most Ontarians would be shocked to know that this is paid for by OHIP. It has been condemned… by most in the health professions. What’s sad is that we’re still paying for it as taxpayers in the province of Ontario.”

Read more

NDP LGBTQ critic Cheri DiNovo introduces historic protections for LGBTQ youth” (Cheri DiNovo)
Transgender Teen’s Suicide Note Goes Viral” (Vocativ)