The Justice Minister has reintroduced a bill on conversion therapy in Parliament. Bill C-6 has a definition of conversion therapy that is very broadly worded and could limit freedom of expression and criminalize religious instruction on sexuality.
Coercive or involuntary efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity have no place in our communities. However, this bill’s broad definition of conversion therapy goes beyond such efforts and includes efforts to reduce sexual behaviour or attraction.
The Justice Minister introduced Bill C-6 on October 1, 2020.
A previous bill to ban conversion therapy, the former Bill C-8, died when Parliament prorogued in August. The new bill is exactly the same as the previous bill but has been assigned a new number in the new session of Parliament.
Bill C-6 would create five new criminal offences related to conversion therapy, such as providing conversion therapy to a minor and causing a person to undergo conversion therapy against their will.
We believe it is important to ask MPs to make changes to the bill to narrow the definition and to ensure that religious instruction, parental guidance and supportive services for individuals wishing to order their sexual lives in accordance with their faith identity and personal convictions will not be captured.
Even if a person has contacted their MP about the previous bill to ban conversion therapy, it is important to contact them again about Bill C-6. While Bill C-6 is unchanged from the former Bill C-8, it is treated as a new bill in a new session of Parliament and it is therefore important that we make our concerns with the bill known once again.
For more information on the bill and a sample letter for contacting your MP, see www.TheEFC.ca/C-6.