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Proposed new Bill Protects the Rights of 2SLGBTIQ+ Youth with Prohibition on Harmful Therapy

In June, the College of Physicians and Surgeons wrote a letter to the Minister of Health regarding media reports of the delivery of “conversion” or “reparative” therapy in Nova Scotia. The College clearly stated its opposition to this intervention and to the premise that sexuality or gender identity is a pathology that may or should be cured. The College stated that such interventions did not belong anywhere within the practice of medicine.

Sexual orientation or gender identity change efforts refer to practices that attempt to change a 2SLGBTIQ+ person’s sexual orientation or gender identity through various means including counselling, behaviour modification and/or the use of medications.

On September 11th, the College attended the legislative briefing session regarding the provincial government’s proposed new law, The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Protection Act. The College supports this legislation which will protect and uphold the rights of 2SLGBTIQ+ Nova Scotians. The bill prohibits people in positions of trust or authority from using this intervention to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of young people who identify as 2SLGBTIQ+.

“The practice of conversion therapy is harmful, it is not evidenced based and is not in keeping with the spirit of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act,” said Dr. Gus Grant, Registrar and CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia. “This practice does not belong in medicine. The profession condemns this practice and this condemnation is echoed in this new legislation.”