There is a lot of conversations happening across Canada around Bill C-6, a bill that if passed, will ban conversion therapy in Canada.
Provincially, since 2015, several provinces and territories, including British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Yukon have banned the practice on minors, unless they are capable of consenting.
The conversion therapy bill has just been sent to Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
We have heard many sides of this debate.
Therefore, I will continue listening to all Canadians as this debate continues.
Some believe that conversion therapy is rooted in the idea that to identify as anything other than straight or cisgender, meaning a person whose personal and gender identity are the same as their birth sex, is a mental illness.
Regardless, what you or I believe, it is always important to remember that there are individuals with medical and religious backgrounds who fear this bill goes too far.
They do not wish to cause harm to the LGBTQ2+ community, but they worry this bill will mean they cannot talk to young people about how they are feeling.
They worry a young person who is struggling with their sexuality or gender will no longer be able to speak to a trusted religious figure of medical resources, without fear of being punished.
I know there are many different views on and sides of this conversation.
That is why, I am very happy that bill has been send to Legal. A thorough committee study means that just like the House of Commons, the Senate of Canada may hold a strong study of Bill C-6.
The house of commons had their study. It was long and detailed. It heard and listened to many voices from many sides and different viewpoints.
Sadly, around the world and as a result of ongoing state-sanctioned homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, there are still over sixty-five countries around the world where being LGBTQ2 (2SLGBTQIA+) is still considered a crime.
As I continue to listen to the debate around Bill C-6, I am reminded why the job of a legislator is so vitally important.
While this debate continues across Canada, the need for all of our attention is clear.
We have a responsibility to listen to all the voices that are speaking, we then have to listen to all the experts whose views are on opposing sides and finally, we have to come to our own conclusion on what we believe is the right answer.
Please stay tuned for coming blogs as I follow the progress of Bill C-6 in the Senate.