Conversion therapy bylaw heading to council

·1 min read

A conversion therapy ban bylaw is heading to Strathmore town council, giving residents additional time to consider and debate the merits of a municipal ban on the practice.

Following the Committee of the Whole meeting on Oct. 14, Strathmore town council directed administration to draft a prohibited business bylaw (regarding conversion therapy) and provide it for first reading no later than January 2021.

The bylaw will be similar to a bylaw passed by the City of Calgary’s prohibited business bylaw which passed on May 25, 2020. Under this bylaw, any person found to be contravening any provision, which includes providing or advertising conversion therapy, can receive a $10,000 fine.

Conversion therapy is defined as “a practice, treatment or service designed to change, repress or discourage a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour.”

However, it does not relate to practice, treatments or services that relates to a person’s social, medical or legal gender transition or a person’s non-judgmental exploration and acceptance of their identity or development, as per the city’s bylaw.

Across Alberta, the practice has also been banned in Edmonton, St. Albert, Strathcona County, Wood Buffalo, Rocky Mountain House and Spruce Grove.

Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times