Thanks to Rev. Adam Kilner for rallying churches in Sarnia to come out publicly in support of Bill C-6 and oppose our MP Marilyn Gladu’s opposition and petition to try and amend or abolish the bill. (more context here and here). These things are important to put in the history books and are helpful for all the new people moving to Sarnia (Sarnia is in the top 10 Canadian cities for people migrating too). So I’m going to be updating this page with a list of all the churches that have come out to support Bill C-6, and those that are trying to change it to make it a weaker bill. If your church isn’t on here yet, or you have evidence of a statement either for or against, please send it to me.
Churches For Bill C-6
- Brigden United Church – “Religious freedom and liberty must always speak to the common good and stand on the side of justice otherwise it becomes a question of religious power over those we seek to include, welcome and protect such as our LGBTQ2S sisters and brothers.”
- Camlachie United Church – “The United Church of Canada, in policy and principle, affirms that human sexual orientations and gender identities are gifts from God, part of the marvelous diversity of creation.”
- The Church of Saint Bartholomew, Sarnia
- Dunlop United Church – “At Dunlop we look to welcome and seek justice for people of all gender identities and orientations and to further understand the role Christians have played in oppressing LGBTQ+ folx.”
- Central United Church
- Courtright Sixth Line Pastoral Charge – “We seek to be clear that the Sixth Line and Courtright United Churches stand in support of Bill C-6, and in strong opposition to the petition you presented in the House of Commons requesting amendments or the withdrawal of the bill.”
- Sarnia-Lambton Children’s Aid Society (not a church, but very important that they are vocal about this)
- St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Point Edward – “We do not support the petition, nor were we ever presented with it.”
- Unitarian Fellowship of Sarnia and Port Huron – “The Unitarian Fellowship of Sarnia and Port Huron did not receive a copy of this petition from Ms. Gladu’s office and would have declined to sign it if it had been received.”
- Grace United Church in Sarnia – “Of even greater concern is that MP Gladu was a driving force behind this petition. The letter sent to some churches in Sarnia-Lambton which accompanied the petition was sent by MP Gladu herself, on the House of Commons letterhead. It appears that she is promoting her personal anti-LGBTQIA+ agenda rather than representing the constituents of Sarnia-Lambton.”
- St. John in the Wilderness Brights Grove Ontario
- St Lukes United Church in Sarnia – “We fail to see how a petition with 169 signatures in a riding of 100,000 residents reflects the majority support of the faith community.”
- St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Corunna – “Gladu had mailed a copy of the petition to St Andrews in late 2020; however, the session threw out the petition without responding to it believing it was not appropriate for the MP to be soliciting this type of political support through the church community.”
Churches Against Bill C-6
- Bluewater Baptist – “This is an attack on religious freedom” – Pastor Tim Cressman
- Sovereign Grace – “At issue for those churches who hold the Scriptures as final authority for faith and practice is the overreach that this legislation presents. This legislation is up for a constitutional challenge if it passes, as it crosses the line into personal conscience and church practice territory. I think we both agree this a right side/wrong side of history issue. As for me, I will stay on the side of scripture, and I will pray to the God of the scriptures that the majority of Sarnia churches do the same.” – Pastor Doug Thompson
- Elim Bible Chapel – “Here is but one of many testimonies of someone radically converted.” – Larry Teeple
- Bethel Pentecostal in Sarnia – I’ve written about their pastor Tim Gibb before and his anti-LGTBQ agenda
- Dunamis – Josh Pitka – “This is CANADA, not communist China.”
- Lakeshore Community Church – Pastor Troy Toby – “One foreseeable concern is that Bill C-6 may be particularly harmful to families that are walking this journey with underaged children who are not in a position to make informed decisions, such as this family.
20 thoughts on “List of Churches in Sarnia-Lambton that are for and against Bill C-6”
Am I right in saying churches dont pay taxes? Then why are they involved in politics?
You are right.
Maybe we should start a petition like that.
Just read Troy Toby’s “such as this family” WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW! and this is the #reason to deny the bill. If you haven’t you SHOULD
While part of the argument is that churches provide a large benefit to the community (i.e. charitable work, free or low cost building rentals, etc.), the core of the argument is really religious freedom. It’s not possible for churches to have religious freedom when government holds the power of taxation over their heads. Indeed, your very statement, “shut up about politics or we will tax you” highlights exactly this issue. Ultimately, religious belief necessitates political action. It’s not possible to separate them.
You think taxation removes freedom? I don’t understand the connection at all.
Individuals and most organizations all pay taxes, and they are all free.
If an organization refuses to abide by the laws of the land that we created to respect and protect ALL citizens, then I think it’s a completely fair consequence to have to start paying your fair share of taxes.
This makes me really sad because Doug Thomson (http://www.sgccsarnia.com/about-us/leadership/ I think the ‘p’ is a typo in his last name) is also the Chaplain at Lambton College :/
Yes, I know, it is problematic big time. He told me that all he had to do was go through some sensitivity training.
We are digging up who at the college allowed this and how we can change it. He is not a safe person.
If you start a petition regarding the college chaplain please let us know.. I would definitely sign
Having someone with discriminatory views should not be influencing our youth
So we are not to have an opinion as to what is right and wrong. The very attitude you are accusing you are using. It is called freedom to choose and freedom of thought and speech.
Of course you can have an opinion. This isn’t about opinions.
But if you try and turn someone not-gay that doesn’t want to be, then you should be put in jail. That’s just my opinion.
Wow “he is not a safe person” now there’s an uplifting statement. ‘YOU PEOPLE’ the love one feels coming from your judgements? This all because someone has a different belief or ideal other than yours.
If someone is going to tell my child that he is going to go to hell because he is gay, they are not a safe person.
I like the way you use OPINION. I don’t have time and maybe should never have commented as you will spend your time fighting a cause that has been declared by the “Bible” guilty. Just like Adultery and others that I need not mention. we can spend our time fighting but you continue doing what you can to justify. my msg is not to make them conform but to inform. There is s difference. Marilyn has took great courage to stand. It’s not to “MAKE” people believe but if they hear and choose that should be their right to accept or reject not yours or anyone else’s to stop them from ever hearing! God doesn’t make anyone serve Him but He has prepared hell for those who don’t. This will be my last but know that your attempt to stop Truth doesn’t change it!
Hi Nathan, my apologies for the length of this comment, but I would be interested to hear your response to a review of Bill C-6 prepared by lawyers at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom, based out of Calgary. In their executive summary they expressed extreme concern regarding this bill, because (among many things) of the way that that ‘conversion therapy’ has been defined (or rather – not adequately defined) in this bill. Here is their summary below, and the link to the full article is here:
“While we agree that the Criminal Code should prohibit force, coercion and abuse in relation to attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, Bill C-6 is overbroad and dangerous and will likely cause children, adolescents and adults irreparable harm.
Bill C-6 purports to create five Criminal Code offences related to “conversion therapy.” Consequently, its definition of “conversion therapy” is extremely important, driving concerns about whether Bill C-6 complies with the Charter. Unfortunately, Bill C-6’s definition of “conversion therapy” does not specifically target abusive and coercive practices that Canadians would associate with that term. Rather, Bill C-6 contains a dangerously expansive definition of “conversion therapy,” resulting in criminalizing legitimate medical, psychological and spiritual supports for people concerning their sexuality, their gender identity, or both.
Bill C-6 should be opposed for the following reasons:
1. Bill C-6’s expansive definition of “conversion therapy” results in imposing a narrow ideological view of sexuality and gender, rather than seeking to prohibit harmful practices. This impinges on the fundamental freedom of Canadians to have their own thoughts, beliefs and opinions concerning sexuality and gender.
2. Bill C-6 discriminates against LGBTQ persons by denying their equal right to receive the support or therapy of their own choice concerning their sexuality, gender identity, sexual addictions and sexual behaviour. This violates section 15(1) of the Charter.
3. Bill C-6 removes the ability of health professionals and parents to determine treatments in the best interests of children who are experiencing gender distress. Bill C-6 instead imposes a one-size-fits-all treatment of social, hormonal and surgical gender transition. This is unreasonable state interference with children’s and parents’ section 7 Charter rights to life, liberty and security of the person.
4. Bill C-6 interferes severely with the teaching and practice of religious beliefs regarding sexuality and gender identity, and prevents religious LGBTQ persons from receiving support in accordance with their own religious faith. This violates Canadians’ right to freedom of religion and conscience.
The amendments to the Criminal Code contained in Bill 6 propose prison terms of up to two or five years to enforce these unconscionable—and unconstitutional—restrictions on Canadians’ rights and freedoms.
Given Bill C-6’s far-reaching impacts on Canadians’ fundamental rights and its substantial interference in the voluntary choices of individuals concerning their own sexuality and gender, such a law cannot be justified in Canada’s free and democratic society. Bill C-6 is an overbroad, arbitrary and discriminatory violation of Canadians’ human rights and constitutional freedoms. Bill C-6 should be opposed in its entirety or amended to be Charter-compliant.
Hey Kevin, I respond to a few of the issues here (specifically on the definition piece).
But overall, I think this response is (purposefully?) skipping over the entire thrust of this bill which says “causes a person to undergo conversion therapy against the person’s will.” This is about coercion meant to suppress anything but hetero-normative sexuality. Situations with willing participants are not considered conversion therapy. The four points pasted above are not a concern, and there is a reason why denominations that already accept and affirm LGTBQ folks are not concerned, because they have no interest in trying to convert people’s sexuality to their wishes.
Focusing on religious freedom here is a farce as far as I’m concerned and meant to try and get people who are already implicitly practicing conversion therapy a bit more confidence that they aren’t going to get in trouble for it.
The problem is there is no definition that would not be viewed as “too broad”. If people think they have a religious imperative to hate LGBTQ+, then a bill to criminalize that hatred will be viewed as suppression of religious freedom. I think this bill strikes a good balance by criminalizing the worst behavior (conversion therapy) and NOT criminalizing private conversation.
I am genuinely confused about a several things and I am hoping someone can clear this up for me.
Marilyn Gladu stated that “This petition is supported by the majority of the 91 churches in my riding”. It does seem that a fair number of Churches are against this, even after being called out and given threats of hate and vandalism.
1. Why are people who do not attend Church trying to have a say in this?
2. What gives someone the right to ask for which Churches are against this?
3. What gives someone the right to hurt someone and try to destroy their career just for their opinion on this?
4. Every parent forces their children to do things against their will. It appears that people do not want parents to force their kids into conversion therapy. But what gives someone the right to force parents to make your decision on your behalf?
1. Citizens of a country get to have a say what is criminalized in their country or not. Folks don’t think that just because you are part of a church that you should get to be excluded from conversion therapy laws.
2. We all have a right to ask churches whatever we want.
3. This isn’t about ‘opinions’ – the fact is many many gay people have been forced to go into conversion therapy against their will – and citizens, and now the government is saying that should be illegal4. No one is forcing parents to do anything – that’s just twisting words. In the same way that it is illegal to steal, it is illegal to force someone to go into conversion therapy, and no one should be excluded.
If this isn’t about opinions, then there is no point of a discussion in the first place. This is a matter of opinion/belief. The real concern is whether or not a person’s opinion pushes public policy. Can you honestly say your opinion is not pushing public policy in regards to this bill? And that the policy you are pushing for is unbiased and is in the best interest of the public as a whole?
This bill only protects part of the LGBTQ+ community, when it comes to seeking specific advice/counselling. I could be wrong, but I have only seen you talk about the Gay/Lesbian/Bi community and you have skipped over the rest.
With the way this bill is defined, absolutely no one will be able to seek counselling if they feel like they are not LGBTQ+. Because it is against the law to do so. For example, the majority of a 14 year old female’s friends are identifying as Transgender, and this girl would like to seek counselling because she does not feel the same way as her friends. It will be illegal for this 14 year old girl to receive any advice saying it is okay for her to feel the way she does.
If a parent wants to tell their child to wait until they are older to make the decision, the parent will not be able to do so because it was made illegal.
I really can’t help but see this bill as anything else but an act of force on a large population of the community. I do not agree with you that I am twisting words here. The bill needs to be redefined.
My opinion (if it matters): I think conversion therapy is disgusting. It should be considered an act of physical/emotional abuse instead of being put into this bill along with authoritarian policies. However, a parent has the right to make a decision on their behalf until they are 18. The policies in this bill are unprecedented and could lead to more ‘non-sense’ bills (To be clear – conversion therapy banning is not non-sense in this bill). I can just imagine a bill in 20 years where children are allowed to get tattoos on them without parental consent, because if not, it is a form of abuse.
Hi Scott, thanks for the comments. I’ll try to respond to all your points.
a) It is of my opinion that conversion therapy should be criminalized, and this is also true of the MPs that voted for this bill and the majority of the population. This includes Gladu who just recently was quoted in her recent letter to the editor saying ” I am strongly opposed to conversion therapy.” So it seems that everyone is on the same page with that. I have no problem at all with this opinion pushing to create public policy and yes I believe that this policy is in the best interest of the public as a whole.
b) I don’t understand at all where you are determining the definitions of this bill. The bill defines forced conversion therapy as being “Everyone who knowingly causes a person to undergo conversion therapy against the person’s will.” (https://parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/43-2/bill/C-6/first-reading) There is a lot of misinformation going on and fear being spread about what the bill says, but no one points to the bill. If it’s forced then it is criminal. In your example – you would never be wrong for saying it’s ok to feel the way you do. It would be wrong if you tried to convert her. This isn’t difficult. Don’t try and convert people’s sexuality or gender.
c) Parents can tell their kids whatever they want – it’s not illegal to tell your kids something. It is illegal for a parent to force their kids to undergo conversion therapy.
d) I don’t understand your concern here then, can you point me to where in the bill you see this as controlling what parents can say to their children?