BC School Board Candidate Condemns Petition That Calls For a Ban on ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’
Banning pseudoscientific ‘conversion therapy’ would be bad for children, anti-LGBTQ school board candidate says
Anti-LGBTQ school board candidate Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson is angry about a petition calling for a ban on pseudoscientific “gay conversion therapy” in Canada.
Thompson, a former televangelist who is running for school trustee in Burnaby as part of a campaign to repeal British Columbia’s SOGI 123 initiative, insists a “rational discussion” with a therapist is all it takes to change kids minds about their gender or being gay. SOGI 123 is an initiative aimed at protecting young people from homophobic and transphobic bullying.
Conversion therapy is a pseudoscientific practice that has been denounced by health associations all around the world – the World Psychiatric Association calls it “wholly unethical.”
The Canadian Psychological Association says it has no basis in science.
But in a recent series of social media posts, the aspiring school trustee claimed the petition would harm children, dismissed it as an example of “shocking LGBTQ lobbying” and compared LGBTQ children to “pedophiles.”
Thompson also equated LGBTQ children with pedophiles and suggested a program aimed at promoting inclusion and discouraging bullying is actually encouraging “sexual experimentation.”
Yes pedophiles are now saying they were born that way. The other issue is that people de-transition, they are gay, then straight, have deep regrets over operations. Kids are particularly fluid in their sexual experimentation these days with all the SOGI liberality.
— Laura Lynn Thompson (@LauraLynnTT) October 10, 2018
Thompson is a former host of the 700 Club Canada, a social conservative talk show that is the Canadian spin-off of an American program of the same name hosted by Pat Robertson.
Robertson is a prominent televangelist, a failed Republican presidential candidate and founder of the Christian Coalition, a group founded in the 1980s with the goal of pushing a social conservative agenda in American politics
He’s also a notorious homophobe who claimed same-sex marriage would result in “love affairs between men and animals” and once advised a concerned mother to “pray that God will straighten out” her lesbian teenage daughter.
Thompson is one of several candidates running with the support of a group called “Culture Guard” – a coalition of social conservatives extremists working quietly to get its anti-SOGI members elected to school boards across BC.
Culture Guard’s website promotes several pro-conversion therapy articles and publications, including a pamphlet published by an anti-LGBTQ hate group entitled “The Health Hazards of Homosexuality.”
The website also provides links to several websites that promote debunked conversion therapy theories and psychologists. One of the websites, “Parents of ROGD Kids”, advises parents not to trust accredited therapists who “specializes in gender identity” or encourages parents to affirm their child’s gender identity.
In 2009, Culture Guard leader Kari Simpson filed a human rights complaint, alleging that the lack of therapy for BC school students “who suffer from homosexuality and other dysfunctional sexual orientations” was discriminatory – her complaint was dismissed.
In recent years, Thompson embarked on several speaking tours preaching her extreme socially conservative views using violent and inflammatory rhetoric.
At a talk in Saskatoon in 2016, Thompson told a gathering of anti-LGBTQ activists that she would defeat the SOGI initiative because “I’m white. I’m whole. I’m clean. I’m destined for destruction against the enemy.” Thompson told another audience that to defeat “transgender ideology” they must be prepared to strike fear in the heart of “the devil” and become “the terror.”
Although mental health experts say that gay and transgender conversion therapy is “harmful” and “lacks scientific credibility,” the practice is still currently legal in all but two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Manitoba).
This year, Vancouver city council voted unanimously to ban conversion therapy in the city, however, conversion therapy clinics can still operate in the rest of BC.
A survivor of conversion therapy in Alberta recently described his treatment as“demoralizing, dehumanizing,” and “psychologically destructive.” He said that a federal ban on conversion therapy is “long overdue.”
The official House of Commons petition calling on the Government of Canada to ban conversion therapy to minors can be found here.
Our journalism is powered by readers like you.
We’re an award-winning non-profit news organization that covers topics like social and economic inequality, big business and labour, and right-wing extremism.
Help us build so we can bring to light stories that don’t get the attention they deserve from Canada’s big corporate media outlets.