Newsflash: Victory for Trans Rights in Canada

Feministing’s Community site reports that a historic bill extending human rights to transsexual and transgender Canadians passed a second reading in the Canadian House of Commons yesterday. This is the first time that the rights of trans Canadians have been addressed in Parliament.

If passed, the bill will add gender identity and gender expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act as prohibited grounds for discrimination.

Commented Parliament member Bill Siksay:

This means that the prejudice, discrimination and violence that are an all too real part of the lives of trans people is now an explicit part of the conversation when we speak of human rights in Canada.

The bill now heads to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights for further review.

The United States has yet to pass any legislation concerning the equal treatment of transgender and transsexual Americans, though California set a precedent in 2005 when it enacted the first statewide law prohibiting discrimination against transgender people by insurance companies.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Ian Muttoo under Creative Commons.

Comments

  1. I was also very heartened to read the transcript of the debate. While there was one Conservative MP who insisted the bill was redundant and not necessary, the other respondents were very much committed to equal rights for trans people and made moving arguments for why we need better language to protect trans people from discrimination. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping Canadians continue to contact their MPs and the Justice Minister to ensure this bill passes 3rd reading.

  2. Rebecca says:

    But what about protecting women-only spaces such as the Woman’s health clinic in Vancouver, Despite aggression from trans activists the centre has remained women only, which I support. What about keeping Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence shelters for women, women-only? Trans people (mostly men who are taking hormones or have had a surgical reassignment) need and should be provided with, or set up, their own help services and centres.

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