Canadian pro-family leaders urge Senate lobby on ‘transgender’ bill
OTTAWA, Ontario, February 11, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Canadian pro-family leaders are decrying Wednesday’s passage of the ‘transgender’ bill through the House of Commons, and have called on the Senate to make the “prudent” choice to scrap it.
“MPs are expected to be the voice for common sense and morality in the country and on this vote the majority failed miserably,” said Alissa Golob of Campaign Life Coalition (CLC).
“Knowing that the protection sought in the Bill is already in place they chose instead to pander to the homosexual agenda and advance their cause to change the moral fabric of society,” she added. “We trust the Senate will be more prudent.”
Bill C-389, sponsored through the House by New Democrat MP Bill Siksay, seeks to add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the Canada Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code’s hate crimes section. The House of Commons passed it Wednesday in a vote of 143-135.
The bill has been opposed by numerous religious and pro-family organizations, who pointed out, for example, that the bill would make it even harder for children and others who struggle with gender identity disorder to obtain treatment. Further, many dubbed it a ‘bathroom bill’ because it would allow men who say they are women to use women’s washrooms, with a danger of increasing bathroom attacks against women.
Though the vote was largely along party lines, with the Conservatives opposing and the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc supporting, some notably did break party ranks.
Seven Liberals voted against the bill - John Cannis, Jim Karygiannis, Gurbax Malhi, John McKay, Dan McTeague, Alan Tonks, and Bryon Wilfert.
At the same time, six Conservatives voted in favor, including four ministers - John Baird (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons), Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs), James Moore (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages), and Lisa Raitt (Minister of Labour). The other two were Shelly Glover and Gerald Keddy.
Brian Rushfeldt, president of Canada Family Action, said it’s a “dangerous” law because “the whole premise is based on a lie.”
“To say that there’s more than two genders, to say that gender changes, that you can be a different gender than what you look like on the outside, it’s all based on a lie,” he explained. “The terms themselves are so undefined. Nobody knows what we really mean by gender expression. That could be anything.”
“I think if the Senate actually studies this thing properly, they will not pass it,” said Rushfeldt. “They will see the flaws, I think, more than Parliament did. I don’t know how they were so blind to the dangers of this kind of bad and flawed criminal law.”
Siksay has said that he has yet to find a Senator to bring it forward, though Liberal MPs have assured that won’t be a problem. At the same time, some pundits have claimed that the bill doesn’t stand a chance in the Senate because the Conservatives hold a narrow majority there.
Mary Ellen Douglas, national organizer for Campaign Life Coalition, said, however, that the Conservatives aren’t reliable considering that six of their MPs backed the bill. “It’s a Conservative Senate, but it was a Conservative House too. We never thought it would pass the House, so there you go,” she said.
“We want people to call the Senators and urge them to vote against it,” she added. “We can’t presume that it’s going to fail. I think we have to be cautiously optimistic and make sure that we do the lobby of the Senate that’s necessary.”
Douglas urged Ontario parents in particular to be alert because Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government has advanced a full-day kindergarten program that requires teachers to combat “preconceived notions” about the children’s gender. Campaign Life Coalition has said Bill C-389 will further cement the provincial government’s radical agenda.
“The McGuinty government program for Kindergarten intends to indoctrinate children as young as five years old to ‘gender identity’,” said Douglas. “Children who barely understand whether they are boys or girls will be taught to expect that the budding realization of their own sexual identity can be challenged and confused at any time.”
In Wednesday’s vote, eight Conservatives and eleven Liberals abstained, or didn’t vote and weren’t paired. The Conservatives were Andrew Scheer, Bev Shipley, Rona Ambrose, Guy Lauzon, Sylvie Boucher, Bernard Genereux, Steven Blaney, and Larry Miller. The Liberals were Mauril Bélanger, Albina Guarnieri, Paul Szabo, Wayne Easter, Kevin Lamoureux, Lawrence MacAulay, Peter Milliken, Brian Murphy, Judy Sgro, Joe Volpe, and Lise Zarac.
Update (14/02/11): A representative from Conservative MP Andrew Scheer’s office has informed LifeSiteNews that he was away from the House because his wife was expected to give birth shortly. A representative from Conservative MP Bev Shipley’s office says he was away from Ottawa on committee business.
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