News Story

Church Leader Makes Submission to Calgary City Council Regarding Conversion Therapy Bylaw

Elder John N. Craig, an Area Seventy in the North America Central Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made a personal submission before the Calgary City Council on May 14, 2020, to voice his concern about the apparent overreach of a proposed bylaw to prohibit conversion therapy.

Between May 12 and 14, 2020, approximately 120 oral and 1,800 written submissions were made to the Calgary City Council regarding the proposed bylaw. In Elder Craig’s oral submission, he expressed belief that we can live together respectfully despite deep differences.

“I believe that what ultimately unites us is more important than what divides us,” he said. “Matters of sexuality, gender and religion elicit powerful responses and sometimes disagreements. Yet there must be room in a pluralistic society for diverse viewpoints and rights and the balancing of rights.”

Elder Craig affirmed the Church’s condemnation of abusive conversion therapy practices of any form that would violate free agency and choice. He further noted, however, (1) that the proposed bylaw is overbroad, thus creating unreasonable inequalities violating fundamental charter rights, and (2) that the proposed law will have unintended harmful effects.

To read the full text of Elder Craig’s five-minute submission, please see his “Oral Statement to City of Calgary Subcommittee Considering Conversion Therapy Ban” in Additional Resources below.

On May 25, 2020, the Calgary City Council voted 14–1 in favour of the new bylaw.

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