Amendment a blow to transgender equality

A bill designed to include gender identity in the Canadian Human Rights Act has received a major setback.

Conservative Senator Donald Plett proposed on Feb. 27 an amendment to Bill C-279 to exclude federal “sex-specific” facilities like crisis facilities, washrooms, changing rooms and correctional facilities.

In essence, the amendment bans transgenders from using these public facilities.

Plett said he wants to prevent biological males from identifying as female and gaining access to vulnerable persons.

Trans activists believe this to be the death of the bill. They say the law that was created to end discrimination and violence against transgender individuals is now discriminatory itself.

The bill will now be sent back to the House of Commons where it was stuck for the past two years. With the upcoming elections, the bill may be in limbo for a longer period.

Twitter was abuzz with people expressing their disappointment and disgust.

From 2009 to 2010, TransPulse a community based research project, collected information from 433 trans Ontarians. Below are some of their findings.

The NDP has created an online petition asking people to tell the government that the amendment is unacceptable.

Eleven members from the transgender community will tell their story in the documentary, ‘Transforming Gender’ which will be aired on CBC at 9 p.m. on Feb 26.

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