Manitoba works to ban conversion therapy for LGBT youth
Province of Manitoba wants health professionals reported if they practise conversion therapy
The province is working to ban conversion therapy in Manitoba.
On Friday, Health Minister Sharon Blady announced measures to stop the practise of trying to "convert" someone's sexual orientation from gay to straight.
The practice typically targets LGBT youth.
- Conversion therapy has no place in Ontario, premier says
- New York considers gay conversion therapy ban for minors
- U.S. 'gay conversion' group shuts doors, apologizes
"It is the position of the Manitoba government that conversion therapy can have no place in the province's public health-care system," Blady said in a release. "As such, fee for service professionals should not be billing for this practice under the Manitoba Health Services Insurance Plan."
Blady said all regions are being asked to make sure no health professionals are providing conversion therapy and to encourage anyone who got the treatment from a regulated health-care professional to file a complaint.
Blady said so far, there's no evidence the practice is happening in Manitoba, but the government wants to be proactive to stop it so it "takes no foothold in this province."
Manitoba Liberal leader Rana Bokhari supported the decision, saying the party has put pressure on the NDP to ban the practise in the past.
Bokhari said the party was the first to call for the banning of conversion therapy in Manitoba.
Ontario's Premier has already spoken out against the practise, and last month, U.S. President Barack Obama called for an end to the psychiatric "therapy" treatments.
Ontario ministry abandoned conversion therapy years ago
An Ontario group says it stopped practicing conversion therapy more than a decade ago.
"There are individuals who committed years of their lives, thousands of dollars, [and] most of their spiritual, emotional, financial energy into pursuing orientation change," she said. "[The clients] were made to feel like failures when it didn't work."
Gritter says she's heard countless stories of people making every effort to change their sexual orientation for religious reasons.
"The stories are profoundly compelling. If reorientation could happen on the basis of effort, it certainly would have for these individuals who had given so much of themselves in the pursuit of what they thought was a godly outcome."
Gritter says if clients ask for conversion therapy now, they are offered counselling or other resources to help them accept themselves as they are.