Calgary criminalizes conversion therapy for trans-affirming youth

A Calgary city council committee criminalized conversation therapy, including therapy to encourage kids to accept their biological sex.
Erin Perse London, UK

While everyone is preoccupied with the coronavirus pandemic, Calgary has passed a bill to criminalize conversion therapy. Unfortunately, the bill is a Trojan Horse for gender ideology: it outlaws parents' attempts to protect their kids from medical transitioning.

After a two-day public hearing, in which 121 speakers contributed and 1,800 written submissions were considered, a city council committee unanimously approved the bylaw which will see businesses fined heavily for advertising or offering conversion therapy. If the fine goes unpaid for a year, the penalty is imprisonment.

Also of note, the federal government recently proposed Bill C-8 which would add several "conversion therapy" offences to the Criminal Code.

The notice of motion was brought forward to council by Ward 8 Councillor Evan Woolley, who has two mothers.

"Over and over again, speaker after speaker came forward yesterday to speak about how important it is to support those in our LGBTQ2S+ community," he said. He wants the bylaw to have "as much teeth as we can."

Councillor Druh Farell claimed that the new bylaw will enable the council to go beyond a symbolic ban, into the realms of criminal sanctions.

"They demonstrate publicly what is socially unacceptable," she said. The measures were justified on the basis of "protection" of, and being "loving" towards gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer and two-spirit people.

However, one important group of people whose rights and health stand to be effected are children.

Feminists raised concerns that parents would be left with no way to prevent the medical transitioning of their gender nonconforming children, procedures which can result in severe lifelong health problems.

Religious groups also raised objections. Graeme Lauber, a gay man living by traditional Christian beliefs, expressed concern that the bylaw could "infringe on the rights for choice and for religious and conscience freedoms for certain Christians in Calgary... No one here is advocating for conversion therapy. Everybody understands that there's a legacy of abuse."

Public interest lawyers agreed that the bylaw is drafted too widely. A Justice Centre lawyer appeared before the Council warning that it violates constitutional rights. The bylaw would criminalize medical and psychological support for individuals seeking to de-transition—to accept their biological sex—and therapy designed to help a child with gender dysphoria regain comfort with their biological sex.

These valid concerns were deemed unimportant by the council, which passed the bill despite these objections. This creates mandate for transitioning children without opposition.

In this instance, liberals have a dual agenda: to curtail the influence of religion in public life, and to promote and enforce the secular belief system of gender ideology in public life. Gender ideology is the new faith which liberals propose as a replacement for the Abrahamic monotheisms.

They believe in what they are doing, and it is significant that there is so much money from foundations such as Arcus, Tides, Tawani and Soros for spreading the new gospel of genderism. That children are being hurt and sterilized in the name of this ideology is a horrific fact they cannot allow themselves to acknowledge, as to do so publicly would mean losing their jobs and social connections.

In a pattern we see repeated across the developed world, the bill was drafted as a Trojan Horse for gender ideology. Gender identity conversion means any type of therapy which falls short of affirming that the confused young person is, in fact, the opposite sex.

What this means, for parents in Calgary, is that if your child begins to believe that they were born in the wrong body—for example, because they were subjected to misogynist and homophobic bullying for not living up to stereotypes—criminal sanctions will apply to any efforts they make to protect their child from social and medical transition.

Once a child is placed on that pathway by the authorities, it will become and offence to try to save them from the long term harm of being dosed with puberty blockers, taking cross-sex hormones, and undergoing major surgeries to remove and change the appearance of their sexual organs.

The fundamental problem with the bill—which no journalist has yet recorded and lawmakers refuse to recognize— is that transing children is conversion therapy. It takes a youth who might grow up lesbian or gay, and colludes in the bizarre fantasy that they are the opposite sex, thus replacing a homosexual child with a visually heterosexual-seeming one.

Research shows that 80 percent of children who identify as trans grow up to be lesbian or gay. As they come to terms with their changing bodies, they learn to accept their sex and their sexual orientation. Of course, if they are placed on the path to medical sterilization or extreme surgeries to make their bodies resemble those of the opposite sex, they won't get to experience sexual intimacy in adulthood in the same way as a child who has been protected from the atrocious side-effects of trans medicine.

Gender identity is tacked onto lesbian and gay causes even though the cultural practice of transgenderism is inherently inimical to celebrating same-sex love.

This writer suspects that the profoundly illiberal bylaw may have been supported by gender lobby money, and that the finders' interest is in developing markets for pharmaceutical products and surgical services. In their search for profits, these entities want our children's healthy bodies to consume lifelong medication and endless surgical transformation.

Even where they justify this quest to themselves in the terms of "love is love," they never stop to consider the appalling cost to the children whose bodies are being mutilated in the name of overcoming the stain of being sexually dimorphic mammals.

Those who oppose the harmful cultural practice of transgenderism might want to organize against the bill. Parents may not have such deep pockets, but numbers can make up for that.

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Erin Perse
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