Peter Baklinski

Ontario passes bill adding ‘gender identity,’ ‘gender expression’ to Human Rights Code

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski

TORONTO, Ontario, June 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Following on the heels of Ontario’s “anti-bullying” Bill 13 that forces Gay-Straight Alliances in all Ontario schools comes the passage yesterday of Bill 33, an Act that amends the province’s Human Rights Code to make “gender identity” and “gender expression” prohibited grounds for discrimination.

“This is a historic day because we are about to recognize, enshrine and codify the rights of trans Ontarians into our Human Rights Code,” said Yasir Naqvi (Liberal MPP, Ottawa Centre), a co-sponsor of the bill prior to the vote.

The bill, supported by all three parties, was specifically endorsed by Progressive Conservatives Christine Elliott (PC MPP, Whitby-Oshawa), a co-signer of the bill, and Rod Jackson (PC MPP, Barrie), who vocally defended the bill prior to the vote.

The bill’s sponsors say that its passage will open the door to “social change” in Canada.

Prior to the vote, Naqvi (Liberal MPP, Ottawa Centre) pointed out that the Ontario Human Rights Code was last amended in the mid 1980s to bestow rights to persons who identify themselves as gay or lesbian by adding the term “sexual orientation”.

“[This] opened the doors to many incredible social changes in our society,” said Naqvi. One notable such change would be the 2005 legalization of same-sex ‘marriage.’

Hon. Glen R. Murray (Liberal MPP, Toronto Centre) also said prior to the vote that he looked forward to the social change that the bill’s passage would initiate. “We know that when we put gay and lesbian rights and sexual orientation in the human rights charter, the world changed—not because it was a dead law left on the books. It was because it started to affect the way people talked. It started to change our rights to be able to be visible, to not have to hide, to be parents and, because people felt that they had the support of the courts and the law, to act with personal courage in changing the way that they worked.”

But Walt Heyer, a former transgender person who regrets his surgery and who now speaks publicly about the devastating consequences of “sex change” surgery, told LifeSiteNews that many people who identify themselves as transgender suffer from “diagnosable disorders” and that laws should not be enacted that encourage people in their disorders.

Heyer pointed to a 2011 Swedish study that found, in the words of the study, that “persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population”.

“It is so appalling to me, as a former trans person, that lawmakers today, who are motivated by sexual activists, are willing to legislate that society accept people who need psychiatric care,” said Heyer.

“What this kind of a law is saying to trans people is, ‘you don’t have anything wrong with you, and even if you did, we are not going to look into it anyway. Just go out and get whatever job you want and if a business doesn’t hire you, we will take them to task for that.’ With this kind of attitude, people like this will never get the treatment they need,” he said.

Heyer suggested that a more helpful alternative for people struggling with their sexual identity would be for lawmakers to “make available more accurate psychological treatment.”

Many mental health professionals continue to express serious reservations about encouraging people to identify as “transgender.” One of the most prominent of these, Dr. Paul McHugh, distinguished professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, says he was compelled to ban “sex change” surgery in his hospital after discovering that it did not rectify the problem for people who were struggling with their biological sex. He wrote in 2004 that “Hopkins was fundamentally cooperating with a mental illness” by catering to the desires of people who wanted surgery to change their biological sex.

“We psychiatrists, I thought, would do better to concentrate on trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia,” he wrote, adding that “to provide a surgical alteration to the body of these unfortunate people was to collaborate with a mental disorder rather than to treat it.”

“We have wasted scientific and technical resources and damaged our professional credibility by collaborating with madness rather than trying to study, cure, and ultimately prevent it,” he wrote.

Cheri DiNovo (NDP MPP, Parkdale-High Park), the primary sponsor of bill 33, anticipated that the bill would usher in a new Canadian order. “We will be at the threshold of a new Ontario, a new Canada, because they’re all following suit after us, and actually a new North America, because I know it’s going to change south of the border as well, state by state by state.”

Naqvi (Liberal MPP, Ottawa Centre) said that in order to promote the “trans” agenda, “We need to work on that in our workplaces. We need to work on it in our neighbourhoods, in our community centres, in our schools.”

“I think Bill 13, the Accepting Schools Act, which this Legislature so courageously passed, is a bold step in that direction as well, so that we protect our children, because we have to start early. We can’t wait for later; we have to start early to educate our children to accept everyone and to celebrate everyone,” he said.

Within hours of Bill 33’s passage, LifeSiteNews received threats from a transgender activist who said that LifeSiteNews’ previous coverage of criticism of the bill would now constitute a “hate crime” under the new law. The activist threatened that LifeSiteNews may want to “print a retraction before facing consequences.”

Jack Fonseca, Project Manager with Campaign Life Coalition, one of the primary organizations that fought the bill, has called the legislation “lunacy,” pointing out that it would most likely create a legal right for a man who calls himself ‘transgender’ to use a public bathroom intended for women.

“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,” he warned.

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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