Justin Trudeau conversion therapy

Conservatives oppose a bill to criminalize LGBTQ2 conversion therapy

“Conversion therapy is harmful and degrading and has no place in Canada.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Diversity Minister Bardish Charger announced on Thursday that the Liberal government is reintroducing Bill C-6, legislation that would criminalize so-called conversion therapy for LGBTQ2 youth. The practice, which aims to make homosexual or trans kids heterosexual or cisgender, has been widely condemned as homophobic and damaging. The bill was sidelined by the COVID-19 lockdown in March, and automatically scrapped by the prorogation of Parliament in August.

“It’s past time to put a stop to this unacceptable discredited practice that has hurt far too many LGBTQ2 Canadians. Conversion therapy is harmful and degrading and has no place in Canada.”

—Justin Trudeau

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole accused the Liberals of attempting to drive a wedge between him and his socially conservative base. During his campaign for party leadership, O’Toole courted socially conservative voters by promising free votes on “conscience issues” such as abortion. Several Conservative MPs have opposed the bill in the past, including former party leadership hopeful Derek Sloan. O’Toole suggested that he supports a ban on conversion therapy but opposes punitive elements of the bill that could, as he put it, “criminalize talking.” Proposed amendments are forthcoming.

The NDP fully supports the bill.

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