“Conversion therapy” is a new term developed by LGBTQ2 advocates. Bill C-6 would define it criminally as “… a practice, treatment or service designed to change a persons sexual orientation to heterosexual (opposite sex attraction) or gender identity to (birth) cisgender, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour.” This is then completely contradicted “clarified” by “… this definition does not include a practice, treatment or service that relates (a) to a person’s gender transition (b) to a person’s exploring their identity or it’s development.” A competent counsellor would realize instantly that (b) “exploring” could easily lead to a voluntary decision on (a) gender transition and “cause” a person to change their gender identity illegally to heterosexual or cisgender (only). This brilliant but devious writing has sadly confused and fooled most our parliamentarians on First Reading. Election victory is more important than protecting children.
Bill C-6 would amend the Criminal Code to criminalize this for children under 18. “Advertising” or receiving payment for this counselling for adults is also criminalized. This is child abuse of the “… 80 per cent or more of gender-dysphoric children who identify as the opposite sex revert to comfort in their natal sex post-puberty…” (1) It is also government overstepping itself in illegal discrimination against the heterosexual majority. Children going through adolescence would be denied voluntary access to professional psychologists and clergy who could explain both sides of the question and the risks and benefit of adopting alternative sexual identities. The only social good that could result would be major editing to limit the Bill to protecting children from both abusive forced conversion and teaching and counselling that causes them to adopt an alternative gender without professional counselling on the risks and benefits.
Federal Bill C-6 criminalizing one-way conversion therapy is also a dangerous assault on freedom of speech, freedom of religion and professional psychology. It deviously bundles the social good of protecting children from destructive forced conversion therapy with the greater harm of criminalizing free speech by professional counsellors qualified to explain the benefits and risks of adopting a different sexual identity. This assault on freedom of speech includes criminalizing “advertising” “conversion therapy” and “receiving a financial or other material benefit for the provision of conversion therapy.”
Federal Bill C-6 is also a serious assault on freedom of religion. It denies clergy the right to offer spiritual counsel or pray with people who come to them for help if that help could “cause them to undergo conversion therapy”. Jews, Christians and Muslims could be denied the right to tell children what their faith tradition says about sexual immorality and marriage.
The preamble to the bill reveals the profound ignorance upon which the bill is based – that “conversion therapy causes harm” and that it is “mythical”. While forced conversion therapy can cause harm; there is considerable evidence that psychologists, psychiatrists and clergy can undo the damage of misguided teaching by teachers and counsellors and help both children and adults voluntarily discover their true sexual identity and voluntarily transition into it. LGBTQ2 advocates fear this because this evidence of people being restored to their birth sexual identities and joyful lives indicates they may be the ones doing the harm that needs to be criminalized.
1. Barbara Kay, National Post, November 20, 2020