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OTTAWA, November 24, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Critics of the Justin Trudeau Liberals’ transgender rights Bill C-16 are looking to the Senate as their last chance to oppose the bill after a House of Commons committee rushed it through with no public hearings and the House passed it on third reading last Friday.

Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall made a last-ditch effort that day to remedy what she decried as “a deeply flawed, undemocratic process” when she unsuccessfully proposed an amendment to send the bill back to the justice and human rights committee to assess “its impact on freedom of expression.”

Bill C-16, scheduled for second reading debate in the Senate on Thursday, adds “gender identity and gender expression” as prohibited grounds for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act and amends the Criminal Code to add an individual’s “gender expression and identity” as protected grounds from hate propaganda.

Critics say the bill opens the door to wide-ranging abuses, including putting women and girls at risk by allowing men and boys to enter opposite sex bathrooms or change rooms, and threatening the freedom of expression and religion of those who disagree with so-called gender theory.

“Make no mistake, if this bill becomes law, religious freedom in Canada is over; the outright persecution of Christians will begin,” warned Jack Fonseca, senior political strategist for Campaign Life Coalition (CLC). “Privacy rights for women and even young girls will be over.”

“Bill C-16 is a bad law, plain and simple. In fact, it is one of the worst laws I have seen proposed in my 12 years as an MP,” noted Brad Trost, a candidate in the Conservative Party leadership race, in a November 23 email to supporters.

“It claims to protect Canadians on the basis of gender ‘identity or expression’ but fails to define what gender ‘identity or expression’ actually means, leaving it up to individuals to decide,” noted the Saskatchewan MP and father of a preschool daughter.

If the bill “becomes law, all men – including men who are not even transgendered – will have the ‘right’ to use women’s bathrooms and change rooms in our schools, our churches and synagogues, and our community centres under the guise of gender ‘expression.’ Institutions that obstruct that use will be subject to a human rights prosecution,” he added.

CLC noted in a petition against Bill C-16 aimed at MPs that sexual predator Christopher Hambrook “was jailed indefinitely in 2014 after pretending to be a transgender ‘woman’ named Jessica in order to obtain entry to women’s shelters in Toronto, where once inside, he sexually assaulted two vulnerable women.”

Meanwhile, University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson has created an international firestorm of controversy for contending that legislating protection of gender theory, as Bill C-16 will do, and the Ontario Human Rights Code does now, is an unprecedented attack on free speech.

Indeed, University of Toronto administration has asked Peterson to stop speaking publicly on this issue, but that has not deterred the professor, who has stated he refuses to use gender neutral pronouns such “xe” and “hir,” and has denounced gender theory as a “Marxist” ideology that is as “absurd, dangerous, totalitarian,” and without “scientific standing.”

REAL Women vice president Gwen Landolt has also blasted Bill C-16, which she describes as an “embarrassment to Canada” as “based purely on politically correct ideology, not facts or evidence.”

Indeed, new evidence reported in The New Atlantis confirms the “belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex – so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ – is not supported by scientific evidence,” Landolt noted in a REAL Women press release.

Moreover, Landolt faulted the Liberal-dominated Justice and Human Rights Committee for hearing from just one person on Bill C-16, that being the bill’s sponsor, justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

The Liberal minister told the committee “she had no actual evidence or data on whether transsexuals were actually experiencing discrimination or hate, but was only relying on information provided to her from partisan transgender and LGBT activists,” Landolt pointed out.

Of the 11-member House justice committee, Manitoba Conservative MP Ted Falk was the only to oppose Bill C-16, noted the Catholic Register.

Alberta Conservative MP Michael Cooper, a Catholic who has been green-lighted as pro-life by Campaign Life Coalition, supported the bill at second reading and at committee.

Cooper told the Catholic Register he didn’t think the bill “would interfere or infringe upon the rights of individuals to express beliefs grounded in their faith,” or affect bathrooms and change rooms. “It doesn’t add anything, it merely clarifies existing law,” he said.

But Wagantall, during third reading debate, pointed to Peterson’s case, noting she was concerned that under Bill C-16 “dissent of any kind will be construed as hate speech and could subsequently lead to Human Rights Tribunal hearings or, worse yet, criminal charges being laid.”

Canadians may be afraid to “discuss public policy issues such as this one because they disagree with the government’s imposed agenda,” Wagantall said.

Moreover, would parents and faith leaders be able to teach children and congregations “in accordance with their deeply held faith beliefs or will they be subjected to accusations of hate speech?” she questioned.

While third reading vote was not recorded, Bill C-16 passed second reading by a vote of 248 to 40.

Conservative leadership candidates who voted in favor were: Michael Chong, Deepak Obhrai, Maxime Bernier, Lisa Raitt, and Steven Blaney. Candidates Kellie Leitch and Erin O'Toole did not vote, and Brad Trost and Andrew Scheer voted against the bill. (To see the vote, go here.)

As for Bill 16’s path through the second chamber, REAL Women researcher Diane Watts told LifeSiteNews that “hopefully the Senate would be more open to input from the pubic.”

That would include hearing not only from organizations such as REAL Women, from “individuals who have experienced the transgender change and realized that it wasn’t what they thought it would be” as well as “medical representation.”

CLC’s Fonseca also hopes “Canada’s bishops stand up and decry this dangerous legislation and get Catholics into the streets.”

The “number one target of this legislation is the Catholic Church, which has traditionally has been the strongest bulwark against sexual anarchy,” he told LifeSiteNews. “Will the bishops stand up against what will be an instrument of persecution against Christians?”

Campaign Life is urging people to contact their senators to express their concerns with Bill C-16.