Pushback against Canadian conversion therapy ban

Canada, like several states in Australia, is trying to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy.’ And like the bills here in Australia, conversion therapy is poorly defined and opens the way for even parents to be subject to criminal charges for offering supportive guidance to their own children.

Bill C-6 creates five Criminal Code offences related to “conversion therapy” but fails to prohibit or even define abusive and coercive practices that Canadians would associate with the term “conversion therapy.” Instead, Bill C-6 will criminalize legitimate medical, psychological and spiritual supports for people concerning their sexuality, their gender identity, or both.

The Justice Centre explains that the Bill violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in four significant ways:

  1. The Bill imposes one narrow, ideological view of sexuality and gender, which violates the fundamental Charter freedom of Canadians to have their own thoughts, beliefs and opinions concerning sexuality and gender.
  2. Bill C-6 discriminates against LGBTQ persons by denying their equal right to receive the support or therapy of their own choosing concerning their sexuality, gender identity, sexual addictions and sexual behaviour.
  3. Bill C-6 removes the ability of health professionals and parents to determine treatments in the best interests of children who are experiencing gender distress, and instead imposes a one-size-fits-all treatment of psychological, hormonal and potentially surgical gender transition.
  4. Bill C-6 interferes severely with the teaching and practice of religious beliefs regarding sexuality and gender identity, and prevents religious LGBTQ persons from receiving support in accordance with their own religious faith. This violates the Charter freedom of religion and conscience, especially for LGBTQ Canadians, as well as LGBTQ equality rights.

Breaking these laws could result in prison terms of 2-5 years!

“With Bill C-6, the Federal Government is telling us that the only possible path for children who say they are transgender is the most extreme one, and anyone who provides an alternative approach, including their loving parents, could be charged with a criminal offence and face jail time,” says Justice Centre staff lawyer Lisa Bildy. “The real ‘conversion therapy’ here will be the government’s funneling of young people down a path of social, medical, and potentially surgical transition into the opposite gender, when the vast majority would have simply grown into their natal gender through watchful waiting,” Bildy concludes.

Binary spokeswoman, Kirralie Smith, said ‘conversion therapy’ bans are unnecessary and dangerous.

“No one wants to see harmful or cruel practices carried out against anyone. Of course extreme measures must be outlawed, which mostly are under law anyway. All adults must have the choice as to whether or not to undergo what-ever therapy they choose. Parents should be able to nurture and care for their children without threats from the state about how to best raise their own children.”