QUEBEC CITY -- A bill presented to the National Assembly on Tuesday would ban conversion therapy across the province if it passes into law.

The bill was presented by Westmount-St-Louis MNA Jennifer Maccarone, who also serves as the Quebec Liberal Party's critic for diversity, inclusion and the LGBTQ2 communities.

“My goal since I have been the spokesperson for the rights of the LGBTQ2 community has been to bring lesbians, gay, bisexuals, transgender, queer and two-spirited people out of collective invisibility and put them in the centre,” she said. “There is still to great a lack of inclusion, coherence, understanding and tolerance. I think this bill is a concrete gesture to demonstrate our will as a society to move forward.”

Maccarone noted that the National Assembly unanimously passed a motion in June 2019 condemning conversion therapy and asked the Justice Minister to take steps to prevent such activities.

Conversion therapies, which aim to change the sexual orientations of LGBTQ2 people, have been condemned by medical professionals, who say they are not only ineffective but often cause serious self-esteem issues and even suicidal ideation in those who undergo them.

“These therapies destroy invidivudals and their families,” said Maccarone.

In 2012, the World Health Organization issued a statement in which it said conversion therapy posed a serious threat to the health and rights of those affected.