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The conversion therapy ban gets debated at City Council

July 13, 2020

Lethbridge City Council underwent the contentious issue of a conversion therapy ban today at City Council.

Supporters of the bylaw for the ban of conversion therapy met in front of City Hall today.

Devon Hargreaves is the Co-President of the YQueerL Society for Change, and he says, "We don't need survivors of conversion therapy have to relive the drama that we did see when Calgary had the ban. Two days spent on the phone talking about their experiences, and listening to other people indicate that their feelings were invalid or incorrect. And they didn't have the right to be attracted to who they are."

Councillors Blaine Hyggen and Joe Mauro told council about their decision to want members of the community to be heard in a public forum to talk about the issue of the conversion therapy ban bylaw.

Other members of council, like Belinda Crowson and Rob Miyashiro were against the public hearing. With Crowson saying that the public hearings are another way to traumatize past people who have been subjected to conversion therapy or sexual assault.

Councillor Joe Mauro was also in agreement with Blaine Hyggen, along with Councillor Ryan Parker, for a public hearing for the citizens of Lethbridge on the conversion therapy ban bylaw.

The vote for the public hearing for the proposed conversion therapy ban was shot down 6-3 in the end.

Blaine Hyggen said in council that he does not support conversion therapy. But that he was looking for more community interaction for the bylaw, and he had questions about the wording in the bylaw.

Cities such as Calgary, Vancouver, and Edmonton have gone forward with putting a ban on conversion therapy.