Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray votes against bill that would ban conversion therapy

Gray defends Bill C-6 vote

Kelowna-Lake Country Conservative MP Tracy Gray is defending her decision to vote against Bill C-6 (conversion therapy) in the House of Commons.

The bill, which passed 263-63, would amend the Criminal Code to make conversion therapy illegal in Canada. The outdated practice tries to change a person's sexual identity to hetrosexual through things like talk therapy, hypnosis and electric shocks.

The bill will make it illegal to force a person to undergo conversion therapy without their consent or to cause a child to undergo it. It would also ban the advertising of the practice and receiving of financial or material benefit for delivering it, while making it illegal to take a child out of the country for the purpose undergoing conversion therapy outside of Canada.

While the bill passed through the legislature with only seven opposed during second reading in October, many Conservatives have since argued the definition of conversion therapy needs to be better clarified.

They have argued the definition would criminalize normal conversations between children and parents about sexuality.

Gray stated some of those concerns in an emailed statement to Castanet News.

"I believe conversion therapy is wrong, and should be outright banned in Canada," Gray said in the statement.

"I supported Bill C-6 at second reading to go to the Justice Committee for study where many witnesses felt Bill C-6 needed improvements to its wording, including the definition and right of parents and advisors to have conversations.

"Suggested amendments to simply add clarifying wording right off the Canadian Department of Justice's own website were also turned down."

Gray said she has been an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, pointing to her record both in business and during her term on city council.

"I always take a thoughtful and pragmatic approach to decisions, and simply without this legislation being written better, I did not vote to send it to the next stage in the parliamentary process."

The bill now moves to the Senate for ratification, however, if Parliament is dissolved to make way for a possible fall election before it makes its way through the Senate, then the bill would die.

Gray was the only MP in the area and one of 62 across Canada who voted against the bill.

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