Late last month, 306 members of Parliament gave approval in principle to “conversion therapy” Bill C-6, with only seven Conservative party votes opposed (leader Erin O’Toole supported it, but permitted his MPs a free vote). The House of Commons justice committee is reviewing public responses to it.
C-6 defines “conversion therapy” as any “practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour.” It adds five offences to the Criminal Code, three of them punishable by up to five years in prison.
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The bill is deeply problematic, beginning with the preamble, which claims it is a “myth” that gender identity “can or ought to change.” It is no myth that gender identity can change. If one or two of Canada’s top-tier experts in gender dysphoria research had been consulted in the bill’s creation, the working group would have learned that without invasive intervention, 80 per cent or more of gender-dysphoric children who identify as the opposite sex revert to comfort in their natal sex post-puberty. A significant number of these children emerge as gay or lesbian. But these scientific experts were not consulted. Not a good look on the framers.