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Canadian province still lists homosexuality as a mental illness

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  1. Wasn’t it Alberta that tried to have a law aimed at preventing the introduction of same sex marriage in the province? A very Conservative place compared to other provinces, I think.

  2. Iris . . . I agree sounds very conservative; and I wonder what is the true source of these conservative discourses. Is it coming from the Fundamentalist religious types, or from psychoanalysis within psychiatry; that still has a large contingent of clinicians who want to uphold the homosexuality is a psychopathology and is treatable?

    If we look more closely at this, I suspect that NARTH sympathisers may be involved; or inculcated at some level in this rather anachronistic stance.

  3. Vabcouver, Pink News? Really?

  4. Hi Iris . . . thanks for the link – I have just read the article and it does appear curious, if not confusing.

    What I can gather from the article is that there appears to be two themes for the continued inclusion of homosexuality as a mental disorder: “Fundamentalist Christianity”, and Cinicians who still disagree with the various moves to remove homosexuality as a disorder from major classification systems . . .

    Despite the following . . .

    “The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1973, followed by the Canadian Psychiatric Association in 1982. Eight years later, in 1990, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the 10th version of the International Classification of Diseases, known as the ICD-10”

  5. westcoastkid 23 Dec 2010, 12:22am

    Hey nah, that law needs to be thrown owt!

  6. Nothing would surprise me about Alberta! It is a virtual right-wing dictatorship! Have a good read about the place on Wikipedia! Any moderate thinking person would be out of there!

  7. Oh God…here we go. People who don’t have a clue about Alberta spouting off. Fundamentalist Christianity? ROFL….you serious? NARTH? WTF…I had to google it to see what the hell you were babbling about.

    Nothing surprises you about Alberta…based on a wikipedia article? Are you f***ing kidding me?

    Tell you what…if you hypocrites feel so well to do that you can ignorantly judge 4 million people based on some diagnotic code older than any of us here (which btw they struck down!!! That is the point isn’t it) me a favour and stay the hell out of my country let alone my province. You obviously don’t know or care to know anything true about it.

    Typical Brit ignorance.

  8. Jesse – I wholly agree with your defence of Alberta and the un-informed stereotyping of the state by those that seek to tar the 4 million population with the same brush – I quite agree – a daft generalisation.

    But then you go and do exactly the same with regard to the entire 60 million population of Great Britain with your comment “typical Brit ignorance” . I hope you will agree that there are ignoramases in every nation so please don’t stoop to the same generalising and stereotyping level as those you quite rightly chastise!

  9. Well said, Thomas! Jesse many ‘Brits’ have relatives in Canada and we’re well aware of the fact that Alberta IS the most conservative province. No, of course that doesn’t mean ALL Albertans, but it does mean that the general – note GENERAL – atmosphere is more conservative than some other provinces.

    What gets me about this story is that it seems people were aware of homosexuality being listed, but did nothing to amend the situation year after year.

  10. Pink Politico 23 Dec 2010, 11:06am

    It’s scandalous that homosexuality would still be regarded as a mental illness in this way with people in the mental health profession in Alberta actively working on this premise until 2004. Absolutely bizarre and unbelievable!

    I also think a more general point needs to be made about Canada. It is no where near as progressive as many people think and is in fact going backwards. Yes it has (court mandated) equal marriage and of course this is highly significant but in many other respects it is far from a gay haven. For starters, their police have a shameful history of homophobia and were conducting raids on gay establishments until relatively recently under outdated legislation combating “bawdy houses”. And this was happening in their major cities and not just backwater areas. Look up the Toronto Bathhouse raids which made worldwide news such was the number of gay men targeted and arrested. The Canadian police also openly admit to monitoring perfectly legal gay websites for the purposes of targeting cruising activity. Such a great use of law enforcement resources!

    They also have an extreme right-wing govt in power that make the UK Tories and most other centre-right govts in Europe look like bleeding heart liberals in comparison. Their PM is a christian fundamentalist cut from exactly the same cloth as George W Bush and he did his utmost to repeal gay marriage, even stooping so low as to try to whip up anti-gay prejudice in Canada’s large immigrant communities. More recently, their largest city Toronto elected a racist and homophobic buffoon called Rob Ford as Mayor. It’s hard to believe such a bigoted and repugnant individual would be elected in any city of a similar size in the United States, despite Canada priding itself on being so much more civilised and advanced than its neighbour to the south.

    I think it’s important to provide some balance here as Canada falls well short of the progressive paradise it is often portrayed to be. It should also serve as a warning to those in the gay community who believe our work will be completed when marriage equality is passed.

  11. Jesse . . . two words

    “Wake up” !!!

    . . . and smell the Institutional homophobia

  12. jonnielondon 23 Dec 2010, 5:58pm

    Of all our provinces, yep, Alberta, she’s the most conservative. No surprises there; every Canadian knows that. Even our conservative PM is an Albertaphile though he was born and raised in liberal Toronto.

  13. David in Indy 23 Dec 2010, 7:59pm

    Oh Canada! Tsk tsk tsk. Just because you are an American country doesn’t mean Alberta should be mimicking its neighbor to the south.

    Just joking, of course!

    This is obviously an old law and hopefully it will be erased from the law books very soon. Although another poster made a good point – Alberta is in a fairly conservative part of the country, I think. And that certainly might have something to do with it too. Anyway, I hope they get rid of it. And soon!

  14. Jesse, any state that doesnt change it’s Government now and again, is a dictatorship! Look at Alberta’s parliament? Please tell everyone, what the state of play is there? Are there still any opposition members on the other side of the house or have they been forced to leave the state?

  15. While the rest of Canada isn’t that way, Alberta could easily rename itself North Texas.

    “Pink Politico” claims of an “extreme right-wing” federal government in Canada is ridiculous. The Conservative Party has a minority government. 62% of Canadians voted for the Liberal Party, Green Party or a socialist party (NDP, Bloc Québecois). The majority of the House of Commons (160) are from the Liberal Party, NDP or Bloc. The reason for the minority government is that the Liberals ignored the NDP (and broke promises to them) during their coalition, so the NDP backed out. So Canada has a simpleton for a PM. It’s still the greatest nation in the Americas and among the very best in the world.

  16. Pink Politico 24 Dec 2010, 2:54am


    The fact remains that the Conservatives under the odious Stephen Harper are the government and get to set the agenda, regardless of the combined support of the other more progressive parties. The Canadian Tories are a far right political party whose social policies are heavily influenced by the religious right in that country. In fact they are a carbon copy of the US variety and Harper very much models himself on the christian fundamentalists south of the border. Think Bush but without the worldwide influence thankfully. And while most other right-wing parties are anxious to at least appear to be moving to the centre, Harper seems quite happy to appeal to the worst kind of prejudice safe in the knowledge that his minority govt seems secure.
    And again, the homophobia that seems to be endemic in the various Canadian police forces needs to be highlighted more. Raids on perfectly legitimate gay establishments taking place long after such homophobic actions have been abandoned by police forces in most other parts of the western world. The police there have a truly shameful track record when it comes to dealing with the LGBT community (google bathhouse raids) and their anti-gay mentality was once again on display during the G20 protests in Toronto this summer when gay people were singled out for “special” treatment. Doesn’t quite tally with a gay friendly image, equal marriage or not.
    So while Canada obviously isn’t Uganda or anything even approaching that, it’s not this beacon of tolerance and enlightenment either. I’m sorry but a country that has the likes of Stephen Harper as PM and the disgusting Rob Ford as Mayor of their largest city cannot be all that progressive!

  17. Pink Politico 24 Dec 2010, 3:04am

    ..Oh and Canada also has an unequal age of consent. You have to be 18 or older to engage in anal sex while it’s 16 for heterosexual behaviour. And something that will have a familiar ring to it for people in the UK – it’s illegal for more than 2 people to be present during the gay sex act. But thankfully that ridiculous law based on homophobic notions about not “corrupting” others was repealed on this side of the pond. But I wouldn’t hold out much hope of a more enlightened approach to gay sexuality in Harper’s Canada anytime soon.

  18. ‘Progressive’????? Conservatives????? The greatest lie in Canadian politics!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Gay Avtivist Paul Mitchell 25 Dec 2010, 12:07am

    It is true that Alberta is the Texas of Canada – just as Queensland is the Texas of Australia!!!!!!

    Pink Politico is incorrect with the age of consent argument!!!!

    The true facts are here:

    The so-called “anal sex law” (section 159 of the Canadian Criminal Code) applies to BOTH heterosexual and homosexuals – so there is no discrimination!!!!!!

    Vaginal sex and oral sex is legal at 16, anal sex is legal at 18 for BOTH heterosexuals and homosexuals (just like in Queensland, Australia in section 208 in their Criminal Code)

    It is silly to have this law but pollies will not touch this law, because it is too controversial to deal with (regardless of what side of politics you are on – left or right)!!!!!

    Prior to 2008 the age of consent was 14 for vaginal sex and oral sex since 1876.

    Discrimination remember only occurs if you treat a member of a group or individual person differently for an unjustified reason based on hatred or bigotry!!!!!

  20. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 25 Dec 2010, 12:14am

    Another fact:

    (A) The UK has legalized group gay male sex since the Sexual Offences Act 2003 became effective from 1 January 2004.

    (B) The age of consent was equalized for everyone at 16 in the UK in 2001 (under the Sexual Offences [Amendment] Act 2000).

    (C) In 2000, the UK also allowed openly gay members in their Army as well.

  21. PinkPolitico 25 Dec 2010, 2:01am


    You can make that argument in theory about the anal sex law applying to everyone, just like most sodomy laws in the US were justified on the grounds of not distinguising between gays and straights, but the reality is that the laws were primarily designed and enforced for the purposes of criminalising gay sex. The US Supreme Court recognised this clear fact when finally striking down these abhorrent laws in 2003.

    The Canadian law is also clearly homophobic in this respect as it places a higher age of consent on the only way male same-sex partners can have sexual intercourse (!) so you cannot credibly argue that applying a different legal standard for anal sex has the same practical effect on people regardless of sexual orientation. Please let’s not get into semantics here!

    You are right about the group sex provision being repealed in the UK shortly after the age of consent was equalised but there is no indication that Canada, in its current sharp move to the right, has any intention of removing these discriminatory
    provisions from its sex laws. And as high profile police raids on places where even LEGAL gay sexual activity takes place, the country in general seems to be quite sexphobic, despite it’s reputation for liberalism.

    The Canadian LGBT community as an identified group may have some of the best legal protections in the world but the mindset seems to view actual gay male sex as still being criminal. If only there was another Trudeau on the horizon!

  22. PinkPolitico 25 Dec 2010, 2:08am

    ..As for Queensland, they have been widely condemned in the rest of Australia for maintaining an unequal age of consent and the law is rightfully seen as a stigma against gay male sexual activity.

    Also, Australia is not viewed as a global gay rights leader in the same way as Canada is even though it is more liberal with regards to its sex laws. Queensland is also just one state while the law applies to the whole of Canada.

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