Petition Regarding Bill C-6 | June 16, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition calling on the House to address concerns related to the broad definition applied to conversion therapy in Bill C-6.

The petitioners’ concerns relate not to the intent of Bill C-6, which they strongly support, but rather to the chilling effect the broad definition contained in Bill C-6 may have on counsel from parents and teachers, as well as professionals and religious counselling that is voluntary and with full consent.

The petition contains four recommendations to the House with respect to clarifying the definition.

The text of the petition is below:

We, the undersigned citizens of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:

Whereas, conversion therapy has historically referred to coercive, degrading actions that seek to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity which are wrong and should be banned;

Whereas, Bill C-6 defines conversion therapy as “a practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual, to change a person’s gender identity or gender expression to cisgender or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behavior or noncisgender gender expression”;

Whereas, this broad definition wrongly applies the label “conversion therapy” to a broad range of practices, including counsel from parents, teachers, and counsellors encouraging children to reduce sexual behavior;

Whereas, Bill C-6 expressly allows counselling, medical, and surgical efforts to change a child’s gender, but prohibits support for a child seeking to de-transition to his or her birth (cis) gender;

Whereas, Bill C-6 could restrict the choices of LGBTQ2 Canadians concerning sexuality and gender by prohibiting access to any professional or spiritual support freely chosen to limit sexual behaviour or de-transition.

Therefore we, the undersigned, call on the House of Commons to take the following actions to address the situation:

1) Ban coercive, degrading practices that are designed to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity;

2) Ensure that no laws discriminate against Canadians by limiting the services they can receive based on their sexual orientation or gender identity;

3) Allow parents to speak with their own children about sexuality and gender, and to set house rules about sex and relationships;

4) Allow free and open conversations about sexuality and sexual behaviour; and

5) Avoid criminalizing professional and religious counselling voluntarily requested and consented to by Canadians.

Chris Lewis MP - Essex

Constituency Office

Ottawa Office