Surrey, BC (November 8, 2021) – Métis Nation British Columbia’s (MNBC) Cabinet has supported a call from the newly-formed Métis 2SLGBTQQAI+ Advisory Committee to press the government to reintroduce legislation banning conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy is defined as, “any form of treatment, including individual talk therapy, behavioral or aversion therapy, group therapy treatments, spiritual prayer, exorcism, and/or medical or drug-induced treatments, which attempt to actively change someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.” Conversion therapy has been scientifically discredited, and perpetuates harmful anti-LGBTQ2S+ stereotypes, and leads to an increase in poverty, discrimination, homelessness, and suicide for LGBTQS2+ individuals.
“As a long-time Chartered Community President and active member, I always noticed a large gap in 2SLGBTQQAI+ issues getting focus from MNBC,” says Louis De Jaeger, MNBC Director for Region 2 and 2SLGBTQQAI+ Advisory Committee Chair. “Forming this committee was the first step in bringing these issues to light, and I’m proud of the advocacy work we have been able to put to the forefront at our Nation. Conversion therapy is harmful and should be banned expeditiously.”
Bill C-6 was introduced into the House of Commons in October 2020, which proposed amendments to the Criminal Code to create offenses surrounding conversion therapy. The third and final reading in the House took place on June 22 and was passed. However, the Bill stalled in the Senate when the chamber began summer break and then fell to the floor when Parliament was dissolved this fall with the call for a federal election. The Liberal Party of Canada, which won the most seats in the House after the election made a promise to re-introduce the legislation.
The 2SLGBTQQAI+ Advisory Committee was formed in the Spring of 2021. 2SLGBTQQAI+ Métis people were traditionally valued for their distinctive responsibilities and roles within our
communities and have had these roles devalued and diminished through the process of colonization. The Committee provides advice regarding:
- The unique cultural, health and social needs of LGBTQI2S+ Métis people;
- Addressing discrimination, prejudice, mental health challenges, suicide, domestic abuse,
- exploitation, social isolation and homelessness of LGBTQI2S+ Métis people;
- Identifying and developing LGBTQI2S+ cultural and wellness programming;
- Identifying and celebrating contributions by LGBTQI2S+ Métis people; and
- Advocating for LGBTQI2S+ rights, and to assist in ensuring the needs of LGBTQI2S+ Métis people are
- being met in the province of British Columbia.