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Bill to ban conversion therapy being turned into political fundraising tool

STEPHANIE LEVITZ, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Nov 13th, 2020

OTTAWA — A proposed bill banning forcing someone into therapy to alter their sexual orientation is turning into a political fundraising tool.

Conservative MP and failed leadership candidate Derek Sloan is asking his supporters to help him raise $25,000 for his re-election bid on the strength of his effort to fight the bill, currently before the House of Commons.

Sloan has long been opposed to the legislation, and used it during his leadership campaign to rally supporters in the social-conservative wing of the party by suggesting it amounted to child abuse.

He alleges, among other things, that bill would criminalize private conversations, which the Liberals say it will not do.

Sloan was among seven Tory MPs who refused to back the bill in the Commons, a fact the Liberals noted in their own recent fundraising pitch.

Their email warned that Sloan and his colleagues — and by extension Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole — aren’t willing to stand up for the rights of all Canadians.

The Liberals say forcing people into so-called conversion therapy causes immense harm and the practice must be banned.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 12, 2020.

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

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