Canada’s federal government has introduced new legislation to criminalize LGBTQ+ “conversion therapy”, as Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government moves to fulfill one of its 2019 election promises.
Peeps can have – are even urged to have – therapy about wanting sex with certain people. Say, those they’re not married to. Peeps can have therapy – are even urged to – about having more sex with certain people. Say, those they are married to.
Peeps can have therapy about not having sex with certain people. Say, paedophiles. There are those out there who consult on whether sex should be had with those of other religions. What is the ministerial urging to marry within the faith other than that?
So, the reason that therapy concerning which genital arrangement one has sex with should be illegal is what?
Now, if the law is to say that you can’t be put into therapy – for anything – that involves aversion therapy, just as an example, then that’s fine. Well, it might be or not but it’s fine in that civil liberties sense. Because it’s the method being banned, not the thing the therapy is about.
But this law, this movement, is about banning psychiatric intervention along one particular axis of human sexuality and not banning it along others. Which is, among other things, hugely discriminatory.
There is also that awful little niggle about the fact that human sexuality is a choice – in part. Sure, there are those of us hardwired into a certain set of attractions. Those men so hetero they don’t even understand why women think men can be cute at times. But if human sexuality were not, at the margin, changeable and a matter of choice at times then we’d not see – as we do – changes in the expression of sexuality between mixed and single sex environments.
Given that we do see such change then there is some portion of that population amenable to environment at the very least over the expression of their sex urges. OK – meaning that some will be happy with their urges, others not. That just being the way that humans work, some are happy with their endowment and others not. And why should those not happy be denied whatever help it is that therapy can give them to be happier in their own skins? Or even, happier by being more selective about who else’s skin they embrace?
Of course we know why these arguments aren’t accepted. Firstly, the insistence that sexuality is entirely innate and fixed. Which it simply isn’t, as those changes in expression dependent upon environment show us. Secondly, that no one should be allowed to persuade another out of something that is perfectly natural and to be celebrated. But that’s not for you to decide Bubba, that’s for the person deciding to do the therapy or not. Just like the consumption of Simon Cowell or not, the mark of a liberal society is where we all – however GodAwful the choice – decide for ourselves, not have choice limitations imposed upon us.
Which is the real argument against such bans on conversion therapy. It’s grossly illiberal despite it being imposed by those who claim to be liberal.