OTTAWA, Ontario, May 22, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A bill to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code to include “gender identity” and “gender expression” in the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination passed its second reading on May 10 in the provincial legislature. Bill 33 is sponsored by NDP Cheri DiNovo, MPP (Parkdale-High Park). It is the fourth time the bill has been introduced, but the first time it has reached its second reading.

During her presentation of the Bill prior to the vote, DiNovo referred to Joan of Arc as an historical transgendered person and compared Toby Dancer, a deceased transgender person whom Bill 33 is named after, to the highly revered Catholic saint.

“At Toby’s funeral, I said, ‘We may be the first church … to put a stained glass window in the sanctuary depicting a trans person,’ because we had one made of Toby playing the piano. … somebody called out, ‘What about Joan of Arc?’ … What about those trans people in history that already have stained glass windows of them? So Toby may not be the first, but we’re very, very proud of that window in that church.”

Joan of Arc was a French peasant who, in her late teens, responded to visions urging her to take charge of the French army during the Hundred Years War, ultimately leading her country to victory against the English. In the process she was captured and executed. While it was practically unheard of at the time for a woman to play an active role in the military, there is no evidence to suggest the Catholic saint viewed herself as anything other than a woman.

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Attending the reading of the bill in the members’ gallery were Canada’s most influential homosexual lobby group Egale, the Trans Lobby Group, and executive director of Pride Toronto Kevin Beaulieu.

The bill was co-sponsored by Liberal MP Yasir Naqvi and Progressive Conservative MP Christine Elliott. Both took to the floor along with fellow partisans in support of DiNovo’s bill.

Bill 33 has now been referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy.

Jack Fonseca, Project Manager with Campaign Life Coalition, called the bill “lunacy,” pointing out that it would most likely create a legal right for a man who calls himself transgendered to use a public bathroom intended for women. 

“This legal right will arise because the right to ‘gender expression’ will be interpreted by the courts as giving men the right to ‘express their gender’ by using a girl’s washroom, change room or shower,” warned Fonseca in an interview with LifeSiteNews.

“It threatens the lives of girls and women by putting them at greater risk from male sexual predators. It will give men a legal alibi for getting caught in the girls bathroom or change room, thereby freeing them to offend another day. Men who plan to assault women in the bathroom, or even a common ‘peeping tom’ hoping to watch girls undress or videotape them, could escape prosecution by pretending to be a cross-dresser.”

Concerned Women of America have reported that bathroom attacks on women are already very common. Donna Miller, an issues specialist with Concerned Women for America North Carolina, told LifeSiteNews in a 2010 interview that transgendered legislation will actually further endanger women.

“The gender identity bills will put more men in bathrooms,” she explained.  “We’re having tremendous problems with bathroom attacks already. Why would you allow more boys in girl’s bathrooms?”

Fonseca pointed out that Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is still listed in American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

“As a compassionate Christian, my heart breaks for those who suffer with gender dysphoria. However, this bill actually causes them harm by encouraging them to embrace and celebrate the disorder rather than seek professional treatment. This legislation, if passed, will actually inflict untold damage upon young people who, because treatment was discouraged, will pursue sex-change surgery and other destructive lifestyles.”

A federal version of the “bathroom bill” is expected to return to the House for a second debate and vote sometime this month. Bill C-279 is a private members bill that aims at giving what its sponsor NDP MP Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC) calls “specific protections” to “transsexual and transgendered Canadians.” The bill proposes to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include “gender identity” and “gender expression” as prohibited grounds of discrimination.