EDMONTON, Alberta, November 23, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Albertans are about to get a “transgender rights” bill putting women and girls at the mercy of sexual predators, warn Christian and pro-family groups, while the once-conservative Wildrose Party stands idly by.
Bill 7 is one of many so-called “bathroom bills” that have cropped up around North America, and even in the Canadian Parliament, that prohibit discrimination based on “gender identity” and “gender expression.”
“Young women and girls will be forced to share bathrooms and shower rooms with biological males,” Rod Taylor of the national Christian Heritage Party told LifeSiteNews, “and opponents will be called bigoted and hateful.” He added, “It’s disappointing to see the Wildrose Party moving in this liberal direction and actually supporting a bill like this.”
Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley introduced the bill, an amendment to the Alberta Human Rights Act, saying, “These proposed changes will ensure trans and gender variant Albertans are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.”
Official Opposition leader Brian Jean of the Wildrose Party, originally a social conservative voice, issued a supportive statement: “The aim of this legislation, to ensure that everyone has clarity over what rights are protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act, should be applauded. I am confident it will be passed with support from all parties.”
“It makes you throw up your hands in despair,” commented the Rev. Shafer Parker, pastor of Hawkwood Baptist Church, who doubted the bill could be stopped given the New Democratic government’s solid majority in the provincial legislature. “We are fighting a rearguard action against the spirit of the age, which is pushing increased tolerance for what even 10 years ago would have been regarded as perversion and mental illness.”
“As Christians we simply cannot accept sexual activities outside of the marriage of a man and woman,” Parker added. “That’s clear from Matthew 19. But now we are being forced to accept and worse, to celebrate, activities that through all history and through all religions were regarded as perversions or mental illness until 10 or 20 years ago.”
Jack Fonseca of the national pro-life and pro-family organization Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews the legislation was an unscientific, ideologically-motivated attack on Christian values, but more immediately, “It’s a threat to the safety of women and girls.” Fonseca said “male sexual predators, rapists and Peeping Toms” were already using transgender rights to invade women’s change rooms, shower rooms and bathrooms claiming to be transgender.
Fonseca cited the 2012 case of Christopher Hambrook, a serial rapist who upon release from jail gained entry to a Toronto women’s shelter claiming to be a trans woman, and raped two women. He also noted that the University of Toronto had been forced to replace some gender-neutral shower-washrooms in its residences with gender-exclusive ones after men were observed videoing co-eds showering.
Fonseca added that so-called transgender people would not be helped by this law, since their self-perception results from a mental illness defined by the field of psychiatry as “gender dysphoria.” “The law will just encourage them to embrace their confusion rather than get help for it,” he said, adding that a Swedish follow-up study of transsexuals 10 to 15 years after their so-called sex-change surgery revealed the folly of encouraging transgender people. “It found that 10 to 15 years after SRS, their suicide rate was actually 20 times higher than comparable peers.”
Fonseca also characterized human rights measures expanding the rights of homosexuals or transgender people, as “a sword to strike at Christians and their churches.” He noted that more than two dozen U.S. states have passed Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that protect Christian churches and institutions from human rights legislation that would force them to teach or preach or hire as if homosexuality or transgenderism is normal and morally unobjectionable.
“It is a hammer to use against Christian and Catholic schools,” Fonseca added, saying these schools will now be vulnerable to human rights complaints if they don’t hire trans people, treat them as if their views were correct, and teach the same.
John Carpay, head of the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, said the amendment would put Alberta’s human rights legislation “in conflict with individuals and groups who believe that God creates everybody as males and females, and that those who feel they are differently gendered from their bodies have a problem that needs addressing.”
Carpay said human rights legislation in general was in conflict with real human rights such as the freedom of religion and association when it gives governments the power to intrude on private lives and private associations.
At the federal level, a trans rights “bathroom” bill made it through the House of Commons earlier this year but was amended in the Senate to protect facilities managers who excluded trans people to protect non-trans people. The election happened before the changes could be ratified by the Commons and so the bill died.