Another Assault on Religious Freedom Parental Rights

Federal Liberals introduce bill aimed at cracking down on conversion therapy

OTTAWA — Justice Minister David Lametti has added another bill to the government’s agenda, tabling new amendments to the Criminal Code, to crack down on the practice of conversion therapy in Canada.

The legislation — a campaign promise and evolution on the government’s position last parliament — is proposing to prohibit unwanted religious counselling seeking to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual; gender identity to cisgender; or reduce non-heterosexual behaviour, nationwide.

The 11-page bill proposes five new Criminal Code offences, but leaves the door open to allowing adults who willingly want to pursue what has also been called  reparative therapy, to seek that assistance. But that remains possible only under limited circumstances.

What the government is looking to make a crime:

  • causing a minor to undergo conversion therapy;
  • removing a minor from Canada to undergo conversion therapy abroad;
  • causing a person to undergo conversion therapy against their will;
  • profiting from providing conversion therapy; and
  • advertising an offer to provide conversion therapy.

Bill C-8, as it’s been titled, would also allow courts to seize conversion therapy promotional material and order it removed from the internet, though it also presents the same restrictions on matters “alleged to be obscene, child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services.”

Based on the proposed changes the government has put forward, the maximum punishment would be five years in prison for some offences, and up to two years in prison for others.

The practice has been widely discredited and disparaged by several health and human rights groups, but these therapies are believed to still be offered in Canada.

Lametti and Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Bardish Chagger made an announcement about the bill on Monday afternoon.

In announcing the bill, backed by several LGBTQ community members and MPs, Lametti called the proposed legislated ban the “most progressive and comprehensive in the world,” and referenced how the discriminatory practice has led to life-long trauma for Canadians.

“Conversion therapy is premised on a lie, that being homosexual, lesbian, bisexual or trans is wrong and in need of fixing. Not only is that false, it sends a demeaning and a degrading message that undermines the dignity of individuals,” Lametti said.

Though, the government is specifying that the new offences “would not apply to those who provide support to persons questioning their sexual orientation, sexual feelings or gender identity,” such as teachers or school counsellors, pastoral or faith leaders, doctors or mental health professionals, and friends or family members.”

As well, the bill clarifies that the new measures are not meant to “include a practice, treatment or service that relates to a person’s gender transition; or to a person’s exploration of their identity or to its development.”

When asked about these exclusions, Lametti said that a “legitimate conversation with an open end in helping someone to explore their sexuality” is not covered by this legislation, saying that “those kinds conversations are absolutely necessary as people move forward in life.”

Asked about why the legislation allows for adults to still willingly pursue this activity, Lametti said that the government “felt that a competent adult could conceivably defend the right in a court to consent to this kind of activity and we felt that we couldn’t move ahead with that, in that case scenario, simply because the Charter of Rights.”

The pair of ministers were mandated to move forward with a ban on conversion therapy, after Trudeau promised action on eradicating the “harmful and scientifically disproven practice,” during the 2019 fall federal election campaign.

In addition to the bill, the government will be taking additional steps in line with the provinces and municipalities given the span of jurisdictions and potential enforcement requirements, such as bylaw changes.

Some provinces and municipalities in Canada already have measures in place, such as specifying that conversion therapy is not an insured health service, and indicating that they expect health professionals to ensure that conversion therapy is not practiced in their jurisdiction.

Before coming out with the promised ban during the campaign, the Liberal’s position had been that health regulations are a provincial and territorial responsibility and implored the provinces to take this initiative on.

Currently, some offences like kidnapping, forcible confinement, assault or even fraud may apply to those conducting conversion sessions, but the government has indicated that the Criminal Code as it stands could go further to explicitly deter and punish those who engage in this practice.

LGBTQ community reaction

Appearing alongside Lametti and Chagger, conversion therapy survivor Erika Muse delivered an emotional reaction to the legislation, saying that she lives with the damage of conversion therapy daily. She questioned whether the bill as drafted will help people in all circumstances.

“I can’t say that this is a ban that would make me safe,” she said, encouraging parliamentarians to make changes to the bill.

Asked about her comments, in an interview on CTV’s Power Play, Chagger said that the conversation is just beginning, and that there’s time to “work on” the legislation.

In a statement ahead of the details of the bill being known, The Trevor Project — a U.S.-based suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth — said it’s proud of the Canadian government for moving to end the practice.

The organization is advancing an initiative aimed at ending conversion therapy in the United States, while similar initiatives to stop the practice are underway in Germany, Mexico and Chile.

“This legislation will save countless LGBTQ young lives,” said The Trevor Project’s Troy Stevenson. Based on a national survey the organization conducted in 2019 in the U.S., LGBTQ youth who experienced conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide.

“Countries across the world are taking active steps to address the devastating harms caused by conversion therapy,” said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, in a statement.

‘No doubt’ conversion therapy happens

A now-retired Senator, Serge Joyal has already introduced a bill in this Parliament, aimed at cracking down on the practice. His proposal, in Bill S-202 was to make it an offence to advertise conversion therapy services and to obtain financial or other material benefits from providing conversion therapy to anyone under the age of 18.

In a previous interview with Joyal said that he wanted to get the ball rolling and push the government to “stand by their electoral platform commitment,” and would be happy to have his proposal — now being spearheaded by Independent Sen. Rene Cormier — to be superseded by a government bill.

“There is no doubt that the practice is still in existence in Canada. It’s not visible, it’s like a submarine. It’s below the water level. But everyone knows that it’s there,” Joyal said.

According to a report published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, in Canada more than 20,000 LGBTQ and two-spirit Canadians have been exposed to conversion therapy treatments or other efforts aimed at repressing or changing their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Conversion therapy is opposed by several health and human rights groups including the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization, which in 2012 said that these conversion programs “lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people.”

The Canadian Psychological Association also opposes conversion therapy as it is “based on the assumption that LGBTQ identities indicate a mental disorder,” and “can result in negative outcomes, such as distress, anxiety, depression, negative self-image, a feeling of personal failure, difficulty sustaining relationships, and sexual dysfunction.”

A criminal offense to affirm actual gender?

A criminal offense to affirm actual gender?

Friday, December 27, 2019  |  Charlie If Canada passes recently proposed legislation, a young person who is uncomfortable with his or her gender will have limited choices, and so will the parents.

The Senate in Canada will soon be voting on Bill 202, a measure that criminalizes so-called conversion therapy for young people to accept their born gender. It would make doctors, psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists, and pastors, as well as the person who schedules the appointment, in violation of the criminal code.

“That psychologist, if they counsel that child that this is something that child will grow out of, or if they counsel the child that biologically that child is either male or female; they are in the correct body — that would be an offense under the act,” explains Jay Cameron, litigation manager at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

And parents would not be able to seek help for their children.


“It deprives parents of the statistically most successful means of treating gender dysphoria; it’s the most successful way to treat gender dysphoria because gradually a person becomes comfortable in the body they are in,” Cameron submits. “They come to recognize I am a girl or I am a boy, and they stop being uncomfortable, and they go on and they live the rest of their life.”

But under Bill 202, there is only one choice left for parents and counselors, and that is to affirm the young person’s gender confusion, provide hormone treatments and surgery to transition to the opposite gender — which is impossible, even with hormone and surgery treatment.

More Silicon Valley Censorship: CitizenGo Locked Out of Twitter

More Silicon Valley Censorship: CitizenGo Locked Out of Twitter

Dear Paul,

I woke up this morning to quite a surprise. Our CitizenGO Canada Twitter account (@citizengocanada) just got shut down. We are supposedly guilty of “hateful content”.

In case you’re wondering what, exactly, we tweeted that was so hateful and evil, here it is:

We don’t know who made this absurd decision, or what the reasoning might have been behind it. We were not given any opportunity to address the allegation beforehand. We only know that it happened in response to our petition opposing a proposed conversion therapy ban in Canada (Bill S-260).

You can read more about the S-260 conversion therapy ban, and why we are opposing it, here:

Apparently, helping LGBT people who want help IS a crime – at least in Twitterland. I guess “love is hate”.

How we could get shut down over some comments disagreeing with a proposed therapy ban is, at best, ridiculous. At worst, it is insidious political interference in the affairs of a sovereign nation – and that during an election period!

Bill S-260 is only a proposed Bill. It is not the law of the land. In a normal democracy, we can discuss proposed Bills and debate their merits. We can advocate for or against certain elements of the Bill. This is particularly vital during an election, when the outcome of said election will likely determine if said Bill will move forward or not.

But Twitter has chosen to actually interfere in our Canadian democratic process – and our Canadian election – by locking our account over a comment on this Bill.

Twitter Ban

Clearly, Twitter has decided that Bill S-260 must go forward into law, and the Liberal government that is pushing this Bill must be elected. They are hell-bent to enshrine the newest political crime – the crime of helping homosexuals overcome their unwanted same-sex attractions, or helping transgenders overcome their unwanted gender dysphoria.

Just try it – or simply try saying you support the idea – and you will be brandished a hater and a homophobe in Twitterland. You will be de-platformed, and your voice will be silenced. That is what we have experienced.

We are now considering our next steps to address this political interference from Twitter.

Yours for Freedom,

David Cooke and the Entire CitizenGO Team

David Cooke

P.S. Be sure to sign and share our petition opposing the conversion therapy ban. If this ban goes ahead, it won’t be just CitizenGO that feels the heat. Every church and mission and individual Christian that shares the message of “change in Christ” will be liable to punishment under the law. Sign here: