Obama’s call to end conversion therapy for LGBT kids shows it is time for the government to act on Bill 77: DiNovo

Toronto – NDP LGBT Issues critic Cheri DiNovo today welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama’s statement calling for an end to “conversion therapy” for LGBT kids, and urged the government to move her Bill 77 through committee for quick passage, so abusive conversion therapies are banned in Ontario once and for all.

“There are still doctors practicing in Ontario, paid by OHIP, who think being LGBT is a form of mental illness,” said DiNovo. “They are telling parents to ‘fix’ their trans daughters by taking away their Barbies, cutting their hair, and stopping them from playing with other girls. They are abusing LGBT teenagers who come to them for support, not to be ‘cured.’”

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health says such so-called therapies are unethical.

“As Leelah Alcorn said, these kids do not need to be fixed. It’s society that needs to be fixed. I agree with President Obama that it’s time to ban these abusive so-called therapies,” said DiNovo.

Last month, DiNovo introduced Bill 77, the “Affirming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Act.” The Act would prohibit conversion therapy for LGBT kids, and would prohibit doctors from billing OHIP for conversion therapy conducted on any patient. After initially denying that conversion therapy was taking place in Ontario, Minister of Health Eric Hoskins eventually agreed that it was, and expressed support for Bill 77. The bill unanimously passed Second Reading earlier this month, and was referred to a Legislative committee where it now sits in limbo.

“Now it is time for the government to move Bill 77 forward,” said DiNovo. “The government must schedule committee hearings and quickly send Bill 77 to the House for third and final reading. Ontario has an opportunity to become a world leader in LGBT rights by passing this bill, and the President’s statement yesterday shows that the time to act is now.”