OTTAWA, Ontario, August 15, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Canada’s opposition New Democrat Party is planning to resurrect a controversial transgender bill that had made it to the Senate earlier this year before getting killed by the May federal election.
Bill C-389, which sought to add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the Canada Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code’s hate crimes section, had passed the House of Commons in February in a narrow vote of 143-135. The new bill will be sponsored by the NDP’s new “LGBTT” critic Randall Garrison, reports the Toronto Sun.
The February vote was largely along party lines, with the Conservatives opposing and the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc supporting. Six Conservatives voted in favor, including Ministers John Baird and James Moore.
The bill was opposed by numerous religious and pro-family organizations,including the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, Campaign Life Coalition, REAL Women of Canada, and the Canada Family Action Coalition.
Pro-family groups had warned that the bill promotes the notion that gender is fluid and a question of social construct, and pointed out that organizations like the American College of Pediatricians treat gender confusion as a mental illness.
They also said it would have wide social ramifications for government, businesses, and single-sex groups, who will be forced to accommodate those who feel they were “assigned” the wrong gender at birth. In particular, the legislation had been dubbed a ‘bathroom bill’ by because it would likely allow men who say they are women to use women’s washrooms, which pro-family groups say will increase the danger of bathroom attacks against women.
Last week, NDP MP Dany Morin called for the Conservative government to appoint a minister for “LGBT” issues. “It’s sorta like women who need a minister or spokespeople in women’s issues,” he said, according to the Sun. “The LGBT people are minorities in Canada and their rights are not at the same level of others.”
But Garrison said that while they want homosexual issues to be a higher priority, the NDP are not calling for a special minister.