Canada’s ‘trans’ bill passes, goes to third reading

The bill passed report stage in a 143-131 vote. It will now move on to a debate at third reading, expected in late February or early March.
Wed Dec 8, 2010 - 3:46 pm EST

OTTAWA, Ontario, December 8, 2010 ( - The Canadian bill seeking to enshrine protections for ‘transsexuals’, which has been dubbed a ‘bathroom bill’ by pro-family leaders due to the fact that it would allow men who say they are women to use women’s washrooms, passed report stage in the House of Commons around 3:30 this afternoon in a vote of 143-131.

The bill will now move on to two hours of debate at third reading, which is expected in late February or early March.  If passed at that point, it will move to the Senate for consideration. The bill would die, however, if an election is called in the new year.

Authored by New Democrat MP Bill Siksay, Bill C-389 seeks to add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the Canada Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code’s hate crimes section.

It has been strongly opposed by pro-family organizations, who warn that the bill promotes the notion that gender is fluid and a question of social construct.  The fact that it would allow male cross-dressers to use women’s bathrooms could exacerbate the already prevalent problem of bathroom attacks, they say, because women and girls will not be able to distinguish whether the man in the bathroom is an attacker or merely “transgendered.”

They also warn that it will 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.

The vote today was largely along party lines, with the Conservatives opposing and the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois favoring. However, several Conservatives and Liberals did break ranks.