by Cecilia Forsyth
December is a busy time as we prepare to celebrate the Christmas season. However, it is urgent that we all take a few minutes to express our opposition to Bill C-279, the transgender bill.
A third reading of the bill and a final vote is expected any day.
Bill C-279 proposes to add gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination in both the Human Rights Act and the hate crime provisions in the Criminal Code.
The bill is confusing and dangerous since it does not define the meaning of the words, “gender identity” and “gender expression.” The meaning and implications of such legislation is unknown.
Often referred to as the ‘bathroom bill’, the passage of Bill C-279 would allow all individuals to enter washrooms, change rooms, locker rooms, etc of the opposite sex. Furthermore, the bill has far reaching ramifications for law and public policy.
NDP MP Randall Garrison, who introduced the bill, has indicated he would accept an amendment to remove “gender expression” from the bill as it is covered by the term “gender identity”. This was confirmed by NDP MP Philip Toone who defined “gender expression” as how a person’s gender identity is communicated to others through emphasizing, de-emphasizing or changing behaviour, dress, speech and/or mannerisms.” Consequently, removing “gender expression” from the bill would not change the impact of this legislation.
The major effect of this bill is that transgendered, transsexual and sexually confused individuals will be given full protection in employment, services, housing in public institutions under federal jurisdiction. These behaviours will be “normalized”, accepted and protected.
Attitude, behaviour, dress, speech or mannerisms are subjective personal characteristics unlike race and sex which are objective categories that everyone has. Bill C-279 is not necessary. All Canadians are already equal before and under the law.
Please ASAP fax, email or phone your MP, the Justice Minister and the Prime Minister to politely request they oppose Bill C-279, with or without amendments.
The Hon Prime Minister Stephen Harper: email@example.com Tel 613-992-4211 Fax 613-941-6900
The Hon Justice Minister Rob Nicholson: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 613-995-1547 Fax 613- 992-7910
Your MP: Contact information at: http://www.parl.gc.ca
Source: REALity December 2012 E-newsletter