Alberta government rejects plans to ban ‘gay cure therapy’

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The right-wing government in Alberta, Canada has closed a working group tasked with banning controversial practices alleging that they change people’s sexuality and gender identity but only harming them mentally and physically. The United Conservative party (UCP), which came into power following an election on April 17, said it was ending the group because it doesn’t see its validity. “We don’t think there’s a need to address it specifically because it’s not a valid health service,” Steve Buick, press secretary to Health Minister Tyler Shandro, told the Vancouver Sun, adding that these practices are not enacted in Alberta anyway and no health regulator would allow it . He confirmed that the party opposes so-called conversion therapy, adding: “Our priority is always to make sure nobody is forced to do anything, especially children.” Critics have argued that the practice is in fact taking place in Alberta. Despite not being able to be billed, it’s still happening,” said Nicole Goehring, an opposition member of the Alberta legislature who was co-chair of the working group. It’s not advertised, the language is vague, but it’s still occurring.”

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