Today, CUPE joins LGBTQ2+ activists and conversion “therapy” survivors in celebrating historic legislation to ban harmful conversion practices in Canada.
On Tuesday, the Senate agreed to expedite the passage of Bill C-4: An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy). The bill will make it illegal to force someone to undergo therapy aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity – a practice that many medical professionals and human rights groups have long warned is traumatizing and dangerous.
Survivors of conversion “therapy” have been advocating for it to be banned for decades. CUPE LGBTQ2+ activists and allies have long echoed these calls, demanding governments and employers end these violent acts. With members in municipal, health care, social services and other sectors where survivors work and receive services, CUPE is relieved that LGBTQ2+ workers and service users will now be better protected.
This should not have taken so long. Far too many LGBTQ2+ people in Canada have continued to suffer while politicians delayed and allowed bills to end conversion therapy to die. We are grateful, however, that Bill C-4 is the strongest of any one to be introduced at the federal level. Unlike previous bills, this legislation will not allow adults to “consent” to be subjected to conversion practices.
This historic victory could never have been achieved without the tireless work of LGBTQ2+ advocates across the country. Going forward, CUPE members will continue to fight homophobia and transphobia in all forms.
What can you do?
- Bargain protections for LGBTQ2+ workers. See Bargaining LGBTQ2+ rights: A checklist for collective agreement language.
- Read and share CUPE’s report on safety in public services for LGBTQ2+ workers and older adults.
- Learn about gender diversity and take action. See CUPE’s info sheets about Allies on Gender Diversity and Pronouns and the Canadian Labour Congress’ Workers in Transition Guide.
- Challenge homophobia, transphobia and all oppression in your workplace and community.