OTTAWA, Ontario, June 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A private members bill that aims at giving what its sponsor calls “specific protections” to “transsexual and transgendered Canadians” passed its second reading in parliamentary vote late last night.
Bill C-279, an Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression) passed with the help of Conservatives 150 to 132. The bill has now been referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights before returning to the house for a third vote, which if successful, would land the bill in the Senate.
The bill, sponsored by NDP MP Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC), proposes to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include “gender identity” and “gender expression” as prohibited grounds of discrimination.
“I firmly believe that the bill would help complete what we might call Canada’s human rights project,” said Garrison, NDP’s LGBTT Critic (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Transexual) during debate of the bill on April 5th.
Jack Fonseca, Project Manager with Campaign Life Coalition, has called the bill “lunacy,” pointing out that one bizarre effect of the bill would be to create a legal right for a man who calls himself transgendered to use a public bathroom intended for women. Critics of the controversial private members bill have dubbed it the “bathroom bill” for this very reason.
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“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,” said Fonseca in a recent 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.”
Numerous religious and pro-family organizations oppose the bill, including the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, Campaign Life Coalition, REAL Women of Canada, and the Canada Family Action Coalition.
Critics warn that the bill furthers the sexual revolution’s ideology that gender is a purely fluid social construct that can be completely separated from one’s biological birth sex.
On June 1 Garrison announced his intention to support amendments removing “gender expression” from the bill and adding a definition for “gender identity” so that the bill will have a greater chance of becoming law, according to Xtra.
“We are going to write a definition for gender identity that I hope will include the ‘expression’ phrase,” he said. “Once gender identity is in the Human Rights Code, the courts and human rights commissions will interpret what that means.”
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