Mr. Speaker, I will be presenting one petition today on Bill C-6 that Canadians have brought to my attention.
The petitioners identify the definition of conversion therapy in the legislation as being too broad, noting it wrongly applies the label of conversion therapy to a broad range of practices, including counsel from parents, teachers and counsellors encouraging children to reduce their sexual behaviour. Further, they raise concerns that Bill C-6 could restrict the choices of all Canadians, including those from the LGBTQ community, concerning sexuality and gender by prohibiting access to any professional or spiritual support freely chosen to limit sexual behaviour or to detransition.
With that in mind, the petitioners call on the House of Commons to do the following: ban coercive and degrading practices designed to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity; ensure no laws discriminate against Canadians by limiting the services that they can receive based on their sexual orientation or gender identity; allow parents to speak with their children about sexuality and gender and allow free and open conversations about sexuality and sexual behaviour; and, finally, avoid criminalizing professional and religious counselling voluntarily requested and consented to by Canadians.
Bill C-6 requires improvement in order to balance the need to protect Canadians from harm while also respecting the freedom of all Canadians to freely discuss matters of sexuality with trusted family members, friends and/or professionals.