Transgender rights bill passed

The House of Commons voted to pass a bill that ensures rights for transgendered identified individuals Mar. 27.

Bill C-279, introduced by NDP MP Randall Garrison back in 2011, “amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to include gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination.”

In other words, it protects transgender and other gender varient individuals from being discriminated against in public areas such as changing rooms and bathrooms.

Sheridan College’s Gay-Straight Alliance is applauding the decision.

“The Canadian government’s legislation of adding trans people now lays the groundwork for allowing trans people to defend themselves from a legal perspective. This will allow them to win court cases and press charges. This will allow for social change,” said Alexander Curley, a Gay-Straight Alliance member.

The bill has been a controversial one that divided the Conservative party – more than a dozen Conservative MPs voted in favour of the bill, while others, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, voted against it.

In a statement on his website, Garrison praised the House for passing the bill, while reminding Canadians that the battle for equality is still not over.

“We must continue to act on this important issue and, now that the bill has passed through the House of Commons, we urge the Senate to move quickly to guarantee the same rights and protections for Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Variant Canadians that all of us enjoy.”


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