The Canadian government introduced a bill on Monday that would criminalise any efforts to change a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The bill will add five new crimes to the Criminal Code, making it the most “progressive and comprehensive law in the world,” according to Justice Minister David Lametti.
Lametti, who tabled the bill, said the legislation will make it a criminal offence to: (1) cause a minor to undergo conversion therapy; (2) remove a minor from Canada to undergo conversion therapy abroad; (3) cause a person to undergo conversion therapy against their will; (4) profit from providing conversion therapy and advertising an offer to provide conversion therapy; (5) authorize seizure of conversion therapy advertisements or order their removal.
According to legislation, conversion therapy, a term used to conjure up imagery of medical abuse, mind-control techniques and electroshock tactics, is “any practice, treatment or service designed to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or to eliminate or reduce sexual attraction or sexual behaviour between persons of the same sex.”
Critics of the bill have said the definition of “conversion therapy” is so broad that it could include Christian counselling, prayer, and evangelism directed at the LGBT community.
In the Bible, all sexual immorality is sin and is defined as sexual expression and experience outside of the context of marriage, as defined by Jesus. This includes heterosexual and homosexual sex before and/or outside of the institution of marriage, which Jesus defines as the union of man and woman for life (Matt. 19:5).
“If you publicly proclaim (‘advertise’) the message that homosexuals can be saved and changed, you will go to prison. And if a young homosexual (under age 18) is converted at your church and starts contributing to the offering (providing a financial ‘benefit’), your church leadership will go to prison.”
According to the bill, “Everyone who knowingly causes a person who is under the age of 18 years to undergo conversion therapy is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years.”
And, “Everyone who knowingly advertises an offer to provide conversion therapy is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years.”
Jack Fonseca, director of political operations at Campaign Life accused the mainstream media of “flat out lying” about conversion therapy by implying homosexuals are being forced to undergo electroshock therapy or take vomit-inducing chemicals.
“It does not happen at all,” Fonseca told Life Site News. “And it probably has not happened for half a century.”
Fonseca went on to slam Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for inserting himself between parents and their children, calling his efforts “despicable and disgusting.”
Campaign Life has set up a petition in opposition to the bill, saying people who identify as LGBT have a right to change if they are so inclined.
A similar bill was introduced in California last year, making it illegal to help anyone with unwanted same-sex desires or gender confusion. The bill utilised California’s existing consumer fraud statute to penalise “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviours or gender expression, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings towards individuals of the same sex.”
The bill was criticised by a number of former homosexuals in California who called for it to be abolished, claiming the legislation destroyed their human experiences and denied people the right to question their own sexuality.
Similar moves have been made in Australia, with the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, suggesting Christians who believe homosexual attraction can be changed might “need fixing.” Andrews went on to say, “conversion therapy” will not be tolerated, “soon it will be against the law in Victoria. Because bigoted quackery has no place in this state.”