OTTAWA, June 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s Senate passed the Justin Trudeau Liberals’ transgender rights bill unamended this afternoon by a vote of 67 to 11, with three abstentions.
The bill adds “gender expression” and “gender identity” to Canada’s Human Rights Code and to the Criminal Code’s hate crime section. With the Senate clearing the bill with no amendments, it requires only royal assent in the House of Commons to become law.
Critics warn that under Bill C-16, Canadians who deny gender theory could be charged with hate crimes, fined, jailed, and compelled to undergo anti-bias training.
Foremost among these critics is University of Toronto psychology professor Dr. Jordan Peterson, who along with lawyer D. Jared Brown, told the Senate committee that Bill C-16 is an unprecedented threat to freedom of expression and codifies a spurious ideology of gender identity in law.
Peterson was invited to the committee by Manitoba Senator Don Plett, who voted against the bill.
Plett unsuccessfully proposed amending Bill C-16 to add: “For greater certainty, nothing in this Act requires the use of a particular word or expression that corresponds to the gender identity or expression of any person.”
Immediately after news of Bill C-16 passing, Twittersphere erupted with hateful attacks against Plett.
Senators who voted against the bill along with Plett are David Tkachuk, Yonah Martin, Richard Neufeld, Leo Housakos, Betty Unger, Norman Doyle, Tobias C. Enverga, Thanh Hai Ngo, Lynn Beyak, and Denise Batters. They are all Conservatives.
Senators who abstained are Anne Cools (independent) and Conservatives Larry Smith, and Michael MacDonald.
Prime Minister Trudeau praised the bill's passage as “great news.”
Great news: Bill C-16 has passed the Senate – making it illegal to discriminate based on gender identity or expression. #LoveisLove
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 16, 2017
But Campaign Life Coalition, the political arm of Canada's pro-life movement, condemned the passage of Bill C-16.
“This tyrannical bill is nothing but social engineering to the nth degree, all in the name of political correctness,” Campaign Life’s Toronto vice president Jeff Gunnarson told LifeSiteNews.
Jack Fonseca, Campaign Life's senior political strategist, said the bill will be used to attack Christian belief.
“Mark my words, this law will not be used as some sort of ‘shield’ to defend vulnerable transsexuals, but rather as a weapon with which to bludgeon people of faith and free-thinking Canadians who refuse to deny truth,” he told LifeSiteNews.
Peterson tweeted that Canadians will come to “seriously regret” the bill's passage.
Senate passes Bill C16 without amendment 67 for 11 against. Compelled speech has come to Canada. We will seriously regret this.
— Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) June 15, 2017
Peterson told the Senate committee last month that he believes “ideologues” are “using unsuspecting and sometimes complicit members of the so-called transgender community to push their ideological vanguard forward.”
“The fact that it’s potentially illegal for me not to participate in that is something that I think is absolutely dreadful. It puts a shudder in my heart as a Canadian that we could even possibly be in a situation like that,” he said.
Peterson became Canada’s preeminent critic of the Liberal bill after he produced three videos opposing the enforcement of gender ideology, one of which blasted Bill C-16, which he said “requires compelled speech.”
He has also vowed that, come what may, he will not use “genderless pronouns” such as “zir” and “ze” for those who self-identify as gender non-conforming when requested.
Lawyer Brown told the Senate Committee the federal Liberals have made it clear they will follow Ontario’s lead when implementing Bill C-16. And Ontario Human Rights Code guidelines “mandate” the use of genderless pronouns on request, he said.
“Mandating use of pronouns requires one to use words that are not their own that imply a belief in or agreement with a certain theory on gender,” he added.
“If you try to disavow that theory, you can be brought before the Human Rights Commission for misgendering or potentially find yourself guilty of a hate crime. To sum up, on the subject of gender, we’re going to have government-mandated speech.”
Those who refuse to go along could be “brought before the federal tribunal,” Brown said.
If the tribunal assesses a penalty such as a fine or “non-monetary remedy, such as a cease and desist order or an order to compel them to do something,” and the person refuses, “they will find themselves in contempt of court and prison is the likely outcome of that process until they purge the contempt,” he added.
Gunnarson said the law indicates that more pro-family politicians are needed to help govern the country.
“We need to step up our efforts to seek out and elect sensible pro-life and pro-family candidates,” he told LifeSite News.
“The Catholic leadership especially needs to flex their muscle, call their parishioners to action and help to bring about a revolt,” he said. “The passage of C-16 is one of many bad bills that will bring about the fall of our nation.”