FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Pride Society (NPPS) says it’s ‘discouraged’ by some Conservative Party of Canada members, including MP Bob Zimmer, voting against legislation banning conversion therapy.
Bill C-6, an act banning conversion therapy, entered its third and final reading in the House of Commons on June 22nd. A total of 263 MPs votes for the bill and 63 against, with most conservatives voting ‘no’.
In a statement Thursday, the Board of Directors of the Pride Society said they applaud the House of Commons members that voted in favour of the bill. Conversion therapy refers to several practices aiming to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Conversion therapy can be performed by licensed professionals, unlicensed ministries, or life coaches; it can be done one-on-one in an office or in groups at retreats or conferences; and it can be done for money or for free. Faith-based conversion therapy can be found across a wide range of religious traditions; faith communities have also played an important and growing role in protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy,” according to the Trevor Project, a United States-based organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+.
The NPPS board says they consider this method “to be tantamount to torture” and are disappointed Zimmer didn’t engage with the group before his vote. However, the group would still like to have a conversation with the politician.
“We welcome MP Bob Zimmer to engage in dialogue with the Board of the Society, so that he may better understand our concerns around this discredited practice.”
In October 2020, Zimmer voted against the bill during its second reading, saying in a statement, “make no mistake, I am opposed to the practice of conversion therapy.”
He was one of only seven MP’s at the time to vote against the bill and said it was due to the wording.
“I am concerned that the current wording of Bill C-6 leaves open the possibility that voluntary conversations between individuals and their parents, family members, pastors, teachers, or their counsellors may be criminalized.”
According to a CBC article on June 30th, the chamber’s month-long summer break has stalled the legislation in the Senate. The bill could be scrapped with a looming fall election if Parliament dissolves.
Energeticcity reached out to Zimmer, looking for a response to the NPPS’s statement. He said he would be emailing Energeticcity a reply, but it wasn’t received at the time this article was published.
The North Peace Pride Society’s full statement can be viewed below:
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