An LGBTQ2S+ coalition on Monday called for Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray to publicly apologize for voting against a federal conversion therapy ban.
The coalition, made up of LGBTQ2S+ community members and allies, signed a letter outlining hurt and shock over Gray’s vote against the bill. Conversion therapy is a blanket term for traumatic and medically discounted practices that aim to change someone’s sexual orientation and gender identity.
The letter also called Gray’s allyship “performative,” noting several posts to her social media in support of the community throughout Pride month in June.
“To us, it feels as though the clock has turned back to the 1990s where battles were fought in courtrooms and in front of tribunals to be afforded the most basic of rights and protections,” read the letter.
The letter also condemns Gray’s statement that she published in response to her vote. In a statement following the vote in June, Gray said that the bill’s wording makes it appear as if having a conversation between parents and their children about sexuality is illegal.
“I always take a thoughtful and pragmatic approach to decisions and simply without this legislation being better, I did not vote to send it to the next stage in the parliamentary process,” said Gray in the statement.
The coalition strongly disagreed.“It has not gone unnoticed that your talking points precisely mimic those from the right-wing religious opposition to the bill without any real substance or data to back them up,” wrote the coalition. “Your support of this lobbying group at the cost of protections against the horrific harms of conversion therapy is both shocking and hurtful.”
The letter comes after an LGBTQ2S+ community town hall was hosted to hold Gray accountable for voting against Bill C-6, a bill that ban conversion therapy federally. A task force was formed shortly after to fight against conversion therapy in the Okanagan.
Black Press Media reached out to Gray for comment but did not receive a response.