QUEEN’S PARK – Today, NDP critic for LGBTQ issues, Cheri DiNovo’s bill to protect LGBTQ youth from so-called conversion therapy passed second reading with all party support.
DiNovo dedicated the bill to Leelah Alcorn, the 17-year-old Ohio young trans woman who left a suicide note on her blog, and walked to her death in front of a tractor trailer in December. Her suicide note explained how her parents rejected her, and then took her to therapists who rejected her — therapists who tried to “fix” her.
Her final words: “Fix society. Please.”
DiNovo spoke passionately about the LGBTQ activists and survivors who have come forward with stories of abusive therapies. “We’ve heard the testimony of the victims like Erika Muse. She sought out therapy and was told that she is too ‘male.’ We’ve heard from those that teach psychiatry.”
“We are all, as the hashtag says, #bornperfect,” DiNovo said. “Every professional association says this is long overdue. We can’t get an eye exam under OHIP. We can’t get dental care under OHIP, but we’re paying for this?”
DiNovo’s groundbreaking legislation will prevent Ontario’s doctors from abusing LGBTQ kids with such so-called therapies. California and New Jersey already have similar laws.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath applauded DiNovo for being a lifelong champion of the LGBTQ community.
“All Ontarians deserve the right to be the people that they are, that they self-identify as, and to live and to study and to work and to be free from harassment and discrimination in everything they do,” said Horwath.
In a rare moment for the Ontario legislature, members from all three parties put their support behind DiNovo’s bill.