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Canada Joins Malta As The Next Country To Ban Conversion Therapy

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Canada has become the latest country to ban conversion therapy, joining several others, including Malta.

The decision was taken with unanimous approval in parliament last year but came into force on* 7th January 2022.

“As of today, it’s official: Conversion therapy is banned in Canada. Our government’s legislation has come into force – which means it is now illegal to promote, advertise, benefit from, or subject someone to this hateful and harmful practice. LGBTQ2 rights are human rights,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

If you’re unfamiliar, conversion practice is a form of treatment aimed at repressing or even changing a person’s sexual orientation, identity, or expression. It can be delivered by way of talk – group or individual – but it may also involve prescription drugs. Consequently, it carries a number of mental health risks, such as anxiety or depression, and has also been linked with suicide.

In 2016, Malta became the first European country to ban such practices after parliament approved a bill – also unanimously – outlawing attempts to “cure” homosexuals of their sexuality. Anyone found guilty of trying to repress or change a person’s sexual orientation would be liable to legal proceedings which could even include a prison sentence.

Before the bill came into force in Canada, there were 13 countries with some form of ban on conversion therapy.

How strong is Malta’s stance on LGBTQ2+ rights?

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