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