OTTAWA, February 11, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - NDP Member of Parliament Randall Garrison submitted a number of amendments to his private member’s bill C-279 earlier this month.

Bill C-279, sponsored by Garrison, the NDP's LGBTT Critic, originally proposed to have “gender identity” and “gender expression” included in the hate crimes sections of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code.

Garrison argued that the bill is necessary to give “specific protections” to people who identify themselves as transgendered or transexual.

The bill passed second reading on June 6, 2012, by a vote of 150 to 132, with the help of 15 federal Conservatives, without whom it would have failed.  

If Garrison's amendments are found to be in order by Speaker of the House Andrew Scheer, then the bill can go to third reading and be scheduled for a vote.

“The commitment I made at second reading to Conservatives was to narrow the scope of the bill slightly and provide a definition, and that made those 15 Conservatives comfortable in supporting the bill,” said Garrison, according to iPolitics.

“That leads me to believe that if the Speaker allows them to be in order at the report stage, then we will have the support again,” he added.

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The amendments aim at toning down two of the most contentious elements of the bill by dropping the term "gender expression," and giving a definition of “gender identity.”

A brief submitted by REAL Women of Canada to the review committee hearings on the bill in December noted that the term "gender expression" as written in Bill C-279 was so broad that it could be used to protect pedophilia along with other sexual perversions, if passed into law.

“Beyond special rights, many demand ‘recognition and acceptance'," said the brief.

“These and further categories would fall under the umbrella of ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ and this includes pedophilia as pedophilia activists are already agitating for recognition, demanding that their sexual orientation be legally and socially accepted.”

Garrison amendment states, "In this section, ‘gender identity’ means, in respect of an individual, the individual’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex that the individual was assigned at birth.”

Earlier this year, a prominent psychiatrist severely criticized the assumptions underlying the bill, dubbed by critics as a "bathroom bill" due to fears that it would allow men who say they are women into girls' bathrooms in public places.

Dr. Joseph Berger issued a statement saying that from a medical and scientific perspective there is no such thing as a "transgendered" person, and that terms such as “gender expression” and “gender identity" used in the bill are ambiguous, and are more an emotional appeal than a statement of scientific fact.

"I have read the brief put forward by those advocating special rights, and I find nothing of scientific value in it," Dr. Berger said in his statement. "Words and phrases, such as 'the inner space,' are used that have no objective scientific basis."

Gwen Landolt of REAL Women told LifeSiteNews that Dr. Berger's statement was sent in an information package to MPs to inform them of the harms the contentious legislation could foist on society if it becomes law. 

"We will have to wait and see whether Speaker of the House Andrew Scheer allows the amendments on February 27, in which case it could come to debate and a vote soon afterward. In the mean time we must contact our MPs to encourage them to oppose this troubling bill," Landolt concluded.

To contact Prime Minister Harper and the Minister of Justice, Rob Nicholson, about Bill C-279:

 

The Rt. Hon. Stephen J. Harper
Office of the Prime Minister House of Commons Ottawa, ON        
K1A 0A6
Fax: 613-941-6900
Email: pm@pm.gc.ca

The Hon. Robert Nicholson
Minister of Justice House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Fax: 613-992-7910
Email: rob.nicholson@parl.gc.ca

Find contact information for Members of Parliament here