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Flawed Conversion Practices Ban Introduced in British Columbia

For immediate release from the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada

November 1, 2021


Flawed Conversion Practices Ban Introduced in British Columbia

Last Thursday, BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau introduced Bill M-204, the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Protection Act.

This bill is akin to previous federal and provincial bills that propose to ban conversion therapy. It aims to ban all attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Unlike previous proposals, it applies to both minors and adults.

ARPA Canada has grave concerns over the bill’s definition of conversion therapy and the rationale behind the bill.

“This bill not only bans coercive and demonstrably harmful practices that are already illegal, but it also bans non-coercive conversations that try to help people develop an integrated personal identity,” says Levi Minderhoud, ARPA’s BC Manager. “For example, if a person adheres to a religion that holds that same-sex activity is wrong and yet is attracted to members of the same sex, that person should certainly be allowed to seek the counsel of others to help them reconcile their religious identity with their sexual attractions. To forbid them from having that conversation not only infringes upon the freedom of expression but it also has negative consequences on the holistic health of that person.”

While Furstenau claims that “everyone should be allowed to be exactly who they are,” Minderhoud responds that, “in a free and democratic society, every person should be free to try to change the identity, behaviour, or belief of another person. Regardless of the subject of that conversation – whether someone’s sexual orientation, religion, partisan affiliation, or vaccination status, just to name a few – these important conversations must not be prohibited. This law forbidding attempts to convert someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression sets a dangerous precedent that the government can forbid other conversions that it finds distasteful.”

“Another flaw in this bill is that it suggests that change is always bad and that the loving thing to do is to always affirm the identities, behaviours, or beliefs of another person. But not everyone is satisfied with who they are or what habits they practice. It is deeply troubling that this legislative proposal bars people from seeking assistance to live as better versions of themselves.”

“At the end of the day,” says Minderhoud, “our dignity and worth should not stem from our sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, or even the acceptance of our identities by others. Our identity comes from being made in the image of God. He created every person to be unique. It’s not that our sexual or gender identity is unique or self-defined – He created us in binary categories of male and female, man and woman – but each one of us is uniquely made in His image. When we recognize this and treat others accordingly, our society flourishes.”

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For further comment, Levi Minderhoud can be reached at [email protected].

ARPA (Association for Reformed Political Action) Canada is a Christian political advocacy organization with a mission to equip, encourage, and engage Christians in the public square.

British Columbia, Conversion Therapy, M-204: Conversion Therapy Ban (BC), Press Releases Email Us 

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