By allowing a free vote on Bill C-6, which will ban conversion therapy, Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader Erin O’Toole is not showing strong leadership and is obviously more interested in protecting his support from his Social Conservative flank, including the MP for Hastings Lennox & Addington Derek Sloan, than gaining support from the LGBTQ+ community.
When he was running for the Conservative Party’s leadership, Mr. Sloan told Evan Soloman [on the CTV program “Power Play”] that he believes in “body-affirming counselling” or “gender-affirming counselling”. These are his codes for conversion therapy. He also clearly said that being gay is a choice, or at least it’s ‘complicated.’ Later in the interview Mr. Sloan said that he would not have supported the legislation (Bill C-16) enshrining the rights of LGBTQ+ people in the Canadian Charter of Rights. He has since said that he will vote against the upcoming legislation to ban conversion therapy.
Mr. Sloan describes himself as “Conservative Without Apology” so we can assume that he will not apologize for his views on conversion therapy to youth who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. We can also assume that he won’t apologize for believing that members of the LGBTQ+ community don’t deserve the basic rights the rest of us enjoy including the right to be protected against violence or the right to be protected against discrimination regarding housing and employment based on gender, race, religion, etc.
Derek Sloan has been called racist, misogynist, and homophobic by members of his own party, and others, and rightly so. He is clearly against protecting the rights of women, and the rights of youth in the LGBTQ+ community. The voters in Hastings Lennox & Addington have to stop supporting Derek Sloan. He certainly does not deserve the right, or the honour, to represent this riding after the next election.