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Pride Festival Participants Support Conversion Therapy Ban

We have some important updates to share in our efforts to have conversion efforts banned. We participated in the Kelowna Pride Festival yesterday, October 30th, and are grateful for the many supporters who visited our booth and signed the petition in support of a ban. We need a few more signatures to reach 1,000 supporters. That is wonderful news and we appreciate your support in sharing the petition to be able to reach this goal.

Global News Okanagan also highlighted our booth and message in the news yesterday which was great! It is so important to get the message out that these harmful practices to attempt to change sexual orientation, gender identity or expression are still happening and need to be stopped. 

Our request to the City of Kelowna to enact a ban on conversion therapy has so far resulted in Mayor Basran providing a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau supporting the implementation of a federal criminal ban. Kelowna Now interviewed Advocacy-Canada.LGBT founder Wilbur Turner recently on this. You can read the article and see the letter from the mayor here.

Based on advice from City Clerk Stephen Fleming, the mayor and council did not proceed with passing a motion for a ban. The mayor stated that they did not have the power to institute a bylaw. They did pass a motion supporting the letter to the Prime Minister and stating their condemnation of conversion therapy. You may read a news story about this here.

Advocacy-Canada.LGBT is seeking a legal opinion on the Community Charter that governs the powers of local governments with respect to a conversion therapy ban. “It is incredibly important that due diligence is carried out and every avenue explored,” says Turner. “We feel strongly that every level of government has a responsibility to implement mechanisms to deter those seeking to carry out these practices. Municipalities throughout British Columbia may be looking at the decision made by the City of Kelowna to inform their own decisions. We want to ensure it is the right one.”

Some eighteen municipalities across Canada have already implemented laws to prohibit or ban these practices.

In the meantime, we will be carrying on with gathering signatures on the petition before we present it to the City of Kelowna.