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HomeEducation / CultureChurches fear Bill C-6 could expose them to criminal sanction

Churches fear Bill C-6 could expose them to criminal sanction

By Brian Dryden

OTTAWA, Canada, (Canadian Catholic News) – Canadian religious organizations are concerned that a proposed bill to ban conversion therapy for youth in Canada could expose religious views on human sexuality to criminal sanction.

These concerns come even though the government and opposition MPs dismiss those concerns. Conversion therapy, according to the federal government, is “a practice that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation to heterosexual, to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviours, or to change an individual’s gender identity to match the sex they were assigned at birth.”

Bill C-6 would make it illegal to advertise services, force someone to undergo conversion therapy, remove a child from Canada for therapy or profit from any such service. It bans all conversion therapy for youth, but “does not criminalize the provision of conversion therapy to a consenting adult.”

Religious organizations fear the bill could lead to religious teaching on sexuality being criminalized.

“The protection of vulnerable Canadians from harmful acts is a necessary and important goal and one which the bishops irrevocably support,” the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement, but added that the bill is “generic in its scope and ambiguous in its language, and thus its application could be overextended and interpreted to include what are and should remain lawful activities.”

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada had similar concerns.

Read more here.

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