RE: Conversion Therapy


This is the letter I have submitted to the consultations by the City of Calgary's city council on the ongoing debate on conversion therapy, specifically the motion proposed by several Councillors to ban the practice.

You can read the motion here (pdf).

Council, City Clerk Sue Gray, and whom it may concern,

I am writing this submission with regards to the ban on conversion therapy in the City of Calgary.

Conversion therapy is a practice that has been employed by organizations for the last century and, contrary to its name, is very much not actual therapy. It is a cruel exercise which tries to fundamentally cause harm to a human being. What is done is that LGBTQ youth and Canadians are that they are sequestered to then be told that their way of being is against God's wishes, that they are abnormal, and that they do not belong in our society as they are.

It drives our fellow citizens to painful existences and, in many cases, to their deaths. In a 2019 survey of 34,000 LGBTQ2 youth - 42% were found to have underwent the process of conversion therapy reported having attempted suicide. This was double the rate of those who were not put through such abuse. You can review these findings at the Trevor Project (www.thetrevorproject.org).

This is particularly cruel because we are all made to be loved and to love.

Further to this, the Canadian government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has recently tabled legislation on the subject of conversion therapy and banning such practices. The Justice Minister, Hon. David Lametti, referred to the practice as a "relic of the past," yet it remains in our communities and in this city. It needs to be fought and with the passage of this bylaw we can move forward in creating a more welcoming, vibrant, and inclusive city.

My city is one where we welcome all those who come to its borders. My city is a place where we build - not just the structures or roads, but each and every person. It's where we belong and can grow together.

Thank you for reviewing my submission and I look forward to the deliberations of council.

Signed,
Vincent St. Pierre