Brooklyn Journal of International Law

First Page



So-called “conversion therapy” consists of dangerous practices that inflict detrimental, long-lasting effects on its victims. As a form of sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression change efforts, conversion therapy is fostered by global homophobia and transphobia. Despite formal public rejection and scientific discreditation, conversion therapy providers across the world continue to target LGBTQ+ individuals, predominately under the guise of offering health care services or obeying religious practices. The following piece compares conversion therapy in three countries with recently introduced LGBTQ+ legislation––(1) Ghana; (2) Canada; and (3) the United States (U.S.)–––in order to identify factors furthering conversion therapy and analyze how these factors contribute to, or hinder, national conversion therapy bans. This Note argues that conversion therapy is a pervasive global problem that must be banned through national law, and the proposed U.S. federal legislation banning conversion therapy must be amended to include all forms of conversion therapy practices and exclude religious exemptions.