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Marilyn Gladu, M.P. for Sarnia-Lambton.CBC News / YouTube

OTTAWA, February 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Sarnia-Lambton M.P. Marilyn Gladu launched a petition calling on the Canadian government to change or withdraw Bill C-6, legislation that would criminalize practices labeled as “conversion therapy.” Her initiative has garnered 169 signatures and was first presented to the House of Commons in December.

“This petition is supported by the majority of the 91 churches in my riding,” Gladu said in a December reading for C-6. She said her Sarnia-Lambton constituents are “extremely concerned about an attack on our freedom of religion, conscience, expression, belief and our ability to speak it in the public square.”

“We call upon the Government of Canada for a narrower definition of what the Liberals view as ‘conversion therapy,’ in order to exclude pastoral care, voluntary sought counselling, or prayer,” the petition reads, calling on the government of Canada “to amend or withdraw this legislation.”

C-6 passed a virtual second reading last year in a 308-7 vote. M.P. Gladu did not vote, citing internet issues.

The bill, denounced as “totalitarian” by pro-family leaders and medical experts alike, would broadly outlaw counseling or advertisements for counseling that fits the proposed definition of “conversion therapy.”

According to the legislation, that would include any “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[.]” Bill C-6 explicitly exempts destructive pro-LGBT “gender transition” practices.

Under C-6, priests who advertise ministries to help individuals recover from LGBT lifestyles could face up to two years’ imprisonment, while parents who take children to such counseling could be sentenced to up to five years.

“This Bill includes an outrageous ban on change therapy, counselling, advice, and prayer for those who no longer wish to identify as LGBT,” reads a petition against Bill C-6 led by Campaign Life Coalition, a top Canadian pro-family group, that has gained nearly 20,000 signatures.

“Studies prove that change is not only possible, but also very natural among people who identify as LGBT,” it continues.

“There are thousands of former transgenders and ex-gays who have left the LGBT lifestyle with the help of clinical therapy or spiritual counseling, and are living happier, healthier, more fulfilled lives as a result, in harmony with their faith,” Campaign Life declares on its website

“It’s not enough for Bill C-6 to be tweaked, to be revised, just to fix the definition. We can’t do that,” David Cooke of Campaign Life Coalition said at a rally last December. “This bill has to go, totally and completely, no compromise. There is nothing here that can be good for us or for any Canadian.”