The House of Commons was the scene of a rare gesture devoid of partisan politics on Wednesday as the Conservatives passed a motion unanimously to speed up passage of Bill C-4, which seeks to ban “ conversion therapies ”in Canada.
Conservative MP Rob Moore rose in the House to move concurrence in the bill at second and third reading, without debate. Mr. Moore’s motion was passed without opposition, which drew applause from both the government benches and the opposition.
So-called “therapies” are widely discredited as harmful practices, aimed at trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Earlier this week, the Liberals introduced a bill, for the third time, to make these practices illegal.
A second version of the bill died on the Order Paper in the Senate when the federal election was called and Parliament dissolved last August.
The bill had passed in the Commons, however, but 62 of 119 Conservative MPs voted against it, despite Conservative leader Erin O’Toole’s efforts to be more progressive on LGBTQ rights issues.
At that time, many Conservative MPs felt the wording of the bill was too broad and could criminalize a simple conversation about sexuality between a child and their parents or a religious mentor.
This time around, the Conservatives have decided to come together to allow this bill to be passed. It is then sent to the Senate for adoption, before becoming law.