Canada has officially banned conversion therapy one week after the country’s Parliament voted on legislation that put a legal end to the practice.
The bill, which was passed by both the Senate and House of Commons unanimously, was signed into law on Wednesday by royal assent, The Hill reports. The law makes it illegal to treat individuals of any age, including minors, with conversion therapy, and will take effect in 30 days.
“It’s official: Our government’s legislation banning the despicable and degrading practice of conversion therapy has received Royal Assent – meaning it is now law,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted in a message on Twitter. “LGBTQ2 Canadians, we’ll always stand up for you and your rights.” (The 2 refers to Two-Spirit individuals.)
It’s official: Our government’s legislation banning the despicable and degrading practice of conversion therapy has received Royal Assent – meaning it is now law. LGBTQ2 Canadians, we’ll always stand up for you and your rights.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 8, 2021
The bill was first proposed by Trudeau’s ruling party last year, but had previously stalled in the Senate after Trudeau called for an election over the summer, putting an end to the chamber’s session.
In a Tweet on Wednesday, CEO and Director of The Trevor Project Amit Paley called the move “a bold action [that] sends a resounding message of support to LGBTQ youth across the world.”
BREAKING: Canada has banned conversion therapy. Bill #C4 received Royal Assent today after unanimous votes in both the House of Commons & Senate.
This bold action sends a resounding message of support to LGBTQ youth across the world.
— Amit Paley (@amitpaley) December 8, 2021
Canada now joins a growing list of countries that have banned conversion therapy, a list that includes Brazil, Malta, Albania, and Switzerland. Other countries, including Ireland, Finland, The Netherlands, and New Zealand, have either launched consultations or have proposed legislation that would end the practice.
Although the United States does not have a federal ban, 20 states have outlawed the practice, including Virginia, Utah, Maryland, and Hawaii.