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Entertainment Federal Liberals revive bill that seeks to outlaw forced LGBTQ conversion therapy

21:35  01 october  2020
21:35  01 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

Federal Liberals revive bill that seeks to outlaw forced LGBTQ conversion therapy

  Federal Liberals revive bill that seeks to outlaw forced LGBTQ conversion therapy OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have reintroduced a bill that would ban forcing children or adults to undergo therapy aimed at altering their sexual orientation or gender identity. The government had previously introduced the legislation in March, just before Parliament shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then their decision to prorogue in August erased the bill from the House of Commons agenda. Diversity Minister Bardish Chagger, who put the bill forward in the House of Commons Thursday, said choosing to reintroduce the effort to ban so-called conversion therapy just days into the new parliamentary session sends a strong signal.


Video: House of Commons introduces bill to ban conversion therapy in Canada, says Trudeau (Global News)


OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have reintroduced a bill that would ban forcing children or adults to undergo therapy aimed at altering their sexual orientation or gender identity.

a close up of a man wearing glasses and looking at the camera © Provided by The Canadian Press

The government had previously introduced the legislation in March, just before Parliament shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then their decision to prorogue in August erased the bill from the House of Commons agenda.

Free votes for Conservative MPs on assisted dying, conversion therapy ban: O'Toole

  Free votes for Conservative MPs on assisted dying, conversion therapy ban: O'Toole OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole promised free votes for his MPs Wednesday on two pieces of legislation that are a source of tension within the party. Both have been put on the agenda early by Justice Minister David Lametti: one bill would ban coercive conversion therapy for LGBTQ people and the other would expand access to medical aid in dying. The Liberals have not said whether they will force their caucus to vote in favour of either or both. The NDP suggested Wednesday that while they back the conversion therapy bill, they've not decided on the expansion of medical assistance in dying.

Diversity Minister Bardish Chagger, who put the bill forward in the House of Commons Thursday, said choosing to reintroduce the effort to ban so-called conversion therapy just days into the new parliamentary session sends a strong signal.

She called conversion therapy destructive, harmful and deadly

"On this side of the House we focus on advancing and protecting LGBTQ2 rights," she said.

The NDP had backed the previous bill and suggested Thursday it would support this one as well, ensuring its passage through the House of Commons, whenever that may be.

"Attempting to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity is impossible and the attempts themselves do great harm to those fearing or already suffering from rejection by family, friends and their community, NDP MP Randall Garrison said in the House of Commons.

Free votes for Conservative MPs on assisted dying, conversion therapy ban: O'Toole

  Free votes for Conservative MPs on assisted dying, conversion therapy ban: O'Toole OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole promised free votes for his MPs Wednesday on two pieces of legislation that are a source of tension within the party. Both have been put on the agenda early by Justice Minister David Lametti: one bill would ban coercive conversion therapy for LGBTQ people and the other would expand access to medical aid in dying. The Liberals have not said whether they will force their caucus to vote in favour of either or both. The NDP suggested Wednesday that while they back the conversion therapy bill, they've not decided on the expansion of medical assistance in dying.

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole called conversion therapy wrong and said it should be banned.

But he accused Liberals of deliberately introducing a potentially divisive piece of legislation just as he's begun his job as leader of the party. There are MPs in his caucus who have been vocally opposed to the bill in the past.

The new one purposefully ignores the "drafting failures" of the first one, O'Toole said.

"Clarity is one of the goals of legislative drafting but the Liberals know that clarity and sincerity don't always make for good wedge politics in the age of Twitter," he said.

"The government knows if the bill is more clearly drafted they might lose their 'gotcha' effect that is becoming far too common in the politics we see to the south of us."

The bill would ban conversation therapy for minors and also outlaw forcing an adult to undergo conversation therapy against their will. The bill would also ban removing a minor from Canada for the purpose of obtaining conversion therapy abroad.

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  Pushing back: Why the Trudeau Liberals were prepared to take Canada to an election OTTAWA – When rumours first emerged last week that the Liberals would take a Conservative motion designed to get a new committee looking into the WE scandal as a confidence vote, they were largely dismissed. Wild and ultimately unsubstantiated rumours are as common on Parliament Hill as Catholics in Vatican City. While the first ten months of 2020 have seemed much longer, the Liberals have only been in power a year. They have a fiscal update coming and legislation to pass. They have a small but not insurmountable lead in polls and plunging Canadians into an election with COVID-19 cases on the rise is a considerable risk.

The bill also aims to make it illegal to profit from providing conversion therapy and to advertise an offer to provide conversion therapy.

The new offences would not apply to those who provide support to individuals questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, such as parents, friends, teachers, doctors, mental health professionals, school or pastoral counsellors and faith leaders.

But those who oppose the bill have suggested that's not true.

Among them, former leadership contestant and MP Derek Sloan, who had said during the race that the previous bill amounts to "effectively putting into law child abuse" because it promotes gender-reassignment surgery and criminalizes conversations between parents and their kids.

Justice Minister David Lametti insisted Thursday it does not, calling the conversations youth and individuals may have with supportive adults and professionals critical to personal development.

"Nor would the proposed offences criminalize conversations where personal points of view on sexual orientation or gender identity are expressed," he said.

"What this bill targets, what we are targeting, are those who actively work to and provide services designed to change someone's gender identity."

Lametti said the Liberals will work in good faith with the opposition in the committee stage to ensuring they get the bill right, and he noted the support O'Toole gave the bill in the Commons.

"If Mr. O'Toole is sincere, and I think he is, it will be up to him to bring his caucus in line."

O'Toole's office did not immediately reply to a question about whether he would consider the bill a conscience issue, and in turn allow a free vote on it within his caucus as he'd pledged to do during the leadership race.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published October 1, 2020.

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

338Canada election projection: a virtual tie between the Liberals and Tories .
Philippe J. Fournier: The Liberals still hold the seat count advantage, but their numbers keep slipping while the Conservatives see an uptick in OntarioWe therefore find ourselves merely a week away from a Throne Speech that, if rejected by opposition parties, would send the country back to the voting booths only one year removed from the 43rd general election that took place in October 2019.

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