Petition to City Council to Respect the Choices and Fundamental Freedoms of Individuals.

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The City of Calgary is proposing to ban “conversion therapy,” which commonly refers to coercive and abusive attempts to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

However, the proposed wording of Calgary’s ban does not directly mention coercion or abuse but instead defines conversion therapy to include any “tactic” to change a persons’ “gender identity” or to “reduce” “sexual behaviour.”  The ban would impose a fine of “not less than $10,000.”

This bylaw would deny LGBTQ2+ individuals healthcare and counseling choices available to other Calgarians.  For example, the bylaw would prohibit a person with same-sex attraction from receiving support to refrain from sexual behaviour in accordance with that person’s own moral or religious beliefs.

Likewise, such a bylaw would limit the counseling and treatment options available to persons with gender dysphoria.  Counseling would be available to transgender individuals who want to transition but not to individuals who may choose to transition back.

It is particularly egregious to impose this kind of arbitrary restriction on treatments for minor children experiencing gender dysphoria.  Such decisions should not be dictated by government, but rather should be made by individual families along with competent medical and counseling professionals to ensure the best interests of each individual child.

While we stand against any coercive, abusive or manipulative attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, we support the freedom of all people to make voluntarily choices about their sexual and gender identity, without interference from government in their private lives.

THEREFORE;

We urge Calgary City Council to ban abusive and coercive practices, while:

1.  Respecting the voluntary choices of individuals concerning their sexuality and identity; and

2.  Trusting that individuals, families, counselors and medical professionals understand the best interests of children with gender dysphoria much more than any government official.