Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen and Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan MP Garnette Genuis are taking flak for producing a video that argues a proposed law against so-called conversion therapy would forbid the kind of church counselling that the young man in the video said helped him change his behaviours.
It is the latest round of the debate over Bill C-6, which would make it a criminal offence to cause a “person to undergo conversion therapy against the person’s will” and in the preamble states, conversion therapy “causes harm to society because, among other things, it is based on and propagates myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation and gender identity, including the myth that a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity can and ought to be changed.”
In the video, posted to the “fix the definition website” that decries the bill as government overreach, Emmanuel Sanchez said the law would have prevented him from getting advice from a counsellor at a church who “challenged” his behavior when he was going to gay bars and seeing an older man.
He said the counsellor “became a real mentor” who counselled him “respectfully.”
Without the counselling, he said he “literally” would not be here today.
In the video, Sanchez said he is “firmly against any conversion therapy which means coercing people,” but “giving advice is not conversion therapy.”
“I believe that people should be able to get the support they want,” Sanchez said.
“Attempting to protect people by limiting the kinds of support we can get from counsellors, friends and even our own family members actually gives us less freedom,” Sanchez declared.
“I don’t want to see a chill placed on these conversations.”
In the closing credits, it says the video was “produced by the offices” of Jansen and Genuis.
Jansen has in the past criticised the proposed law as “poorly written” and something that could lead to parents being charged with breaking the law for simply talking to their kids about sexuality.
The video has drawn criticism from John Aldag, the previous Cloverdale – Langley City MP, a Liberal, who was defeated by Jansen in the last election and is planning to run against her in the next.
Aldag said he was “extremely disappointed that Cloverdale-Langley City’s MP remains laser focused on defending conversion therapy. I’m outraged that staff hours and taxpayer dollars may have been used to do so. This puts our community’s progress at risk and benefits no one.”
I'm extremely disappointed that Cloverdale-Langley City's MP remains laser focused on defending conversion therapy. I'm outraged that staff hours & taxpayer dollars may have been used to do so. This puts our community's progress at risk & benefits no one. https://t.co/HfEXeWFtFI
— John Aldag (@jwaldag) June 12, 2021
On the “free to care” website, which opposes the legislation, and where Sanchez is one of the listed speakers, there are more details about the advice he received.
It says that Sanchez “received counselling for his unwanted same-sex attractions when he was a minor. The counselling he received didn’t change all his attractions but they did help him reduce behaviour he no longer wanted to engage in. This is the kind of counselling that would be made criminal under Bill C-6.”
Langley Advance Times has asked Jansen for comment.
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