Garnett Genuis is defending his move to vote against a bill that would outlaw conversion therapy.
 
The Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan member of parliament is responding to criticism about his decision to vote against Bill C-6, which would amend the criminal code in order to ban 2SLGBTQ+ conversion therapy. 
 
Genuis told MIX 107 he believes in a ban on conversion therapy, however, sees the bill as being worded so broadly that it could potentially ban things that have nothing to do with the practice.
 
“It would restrict even private conversations that people might have where they’re expressing personal views about things involving sexuality and romance. So, it’s quite reasonable to ban conversion therapy, as it’s been historically defined, but that bill doesn’t do just that,” explained Genuis.  
 
A summary of the bill explains that the criminal code would be amended to outlaw sending people to undergo conversion therapy without their consent, causing a child to undergo conversion therapy or removing a child from Canada with the intention of sending them to conversion therapy outside the county. 
 
The bill would make it illegal for anyone to promote or advertise an offer to provide conversion therapy or for anyone to receive financial or any other material benefit as a result of providing conversion therapy.
 
The amendment would also authorize courts that advertisements for conversion therapy be disposed of or deleted. 
 
Conversion therapy is defined as a practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual, to change a person’s gender identity or gender expression to cisgender or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour or non-cisgender gender expression. 
 
Another reason Genuis chose not to support the bill is that he believes the bill would interfere with freedom of speech and the conversations people have in private, adding that he had a number of town hall meetings and consultations with constituents.  
 
“I think what people wanted to see was the government support the reasonable amendments that we put forward, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen.” 
 
The bill was recently passed through a second reading in the Senate, however, the Senate has now been adjourned for the summer without a third reading of Bill C-6.