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Ryan Anderson, author of When Harry Became Sally. Photo from YouTube

Charles Lewis: Conversion therapy bill on a risky path

  • June 11, 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 virus it is easy to forget what other dangers lurk in our society. We must remember that our government has been involved in a great and destructive program of social engineering — and it is about to get far worse.

There is a bill in the Parliamentary hopper — C-6, proposed in March — that would ban conversion therapy, a term associated with attempts to turn gay men and women straight. It will also extend to the issue of gender dysphoria, but more on that in a bit.

Some will disagree with me, but to my mind being gay is not a choice. Nor is being born straight a choice. The issue for gay Catholic men and women is really about living as who they are within the Catholic Church by adhering to our teachings on sexual morality. It is a tough road.

That is where the Roman Catholic group Courage comes in. Its good work could be damaged by C-6.

Courage does not ask people to deny their nature but learn to live with who they are in the arms of the Catholic faith. It seeks to go beyond sexuality as the prime definition of the person and allow the individual to flourish physically and spiritually.

No one is coerced into Courage. Members usually hear about it by word of mouth or a pamphlet left in the back of a church.

But someone or some group could falsely claim that Courage is repressing the sexuality of gay men and women out of animus.

Item “d” in the bill states: “advertising an offer to provide conversion therapy” is an offence.

Those ignorant of what Courage does, or who are hostile to the Catholic Church, or cannot understand why someone would want to align their sexuality with Church teaching, could see it as a form of untoward persuasion. It could also offend those who primarily define others by their sexual orientation instead of looking at the whole person.

Then there is the issue of gender dysphoria — a condition in which a person believes they are not the biological sex they were born with and so they desire to transition to the sex they believe they really are. It could involve hormone therapy as well as destructive surgery.

Trans activists see sex as a societal construct. So if a man, for example, thinks he is a woman then he is a woman. The last thing they think is that God created them man and woman as God is nowhere in the picture.

There is more to say about this than I can mention in a single column. But parents take note of this: A nine-year-old who thinks he or she wants to be the opposite sex has a psychological problem. No parent in his or her right mind would nod their approval and begin the process of transition. Nor would they agree to give the car keys to little Johnny because he feels he can drive safely. That would be crazy, right?

I interviewed Ryan Anderson a few years ago. He is the author of When Harry Became Sally, a book worth reading if you want to better understand this issue.

This is what he said about gender dysphoria and children:

“My heart breaks for the parents who have a child struggling with this because they don’t know what to do. The basic treatment protocol that many therapists use is called ‘talk therapy.’ That helps to find out what the underlying issues are. They find out from the child what his or her expectations are about being a boy or a girl, or about the role or assumptions of their own sex that they find distressing or uncomfortable and what about being the opposite sex they find appealing or attractive. And it tries to address these underlying concerns.”

He noted that in about 90 per cent of cases this sense of being the wrong sex ends at puberty.

Now imagine you are a parent of a young child. They say they are confused about who they are. You would of course seek therapy. However, the way Bill C-6’s summary of offences is worded —  “causing a child to undergo conversion therapy” — could be interpreted to mean you and the therapist are running afoul of the law.

Let that sink in; doing what is best for your child could bring a criminal charge.

The state is saying it knows better. You have been warned.

(Lewis is a Toronto writer and regular contributor to The Register.)

(NOTE: This story has been updated. The correct reference to the bill is Bill C-6.)

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