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Lindsay Shepherd speaks on panel on 'BILL C-16 and COMPELLED SPEECH: One Year Later' July 18, 2018. Sarina Singh / Vimeo screen grab

TORONTO, July 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government opened the door to “state-sponsored child abuse” by enshrining the “false and unscientific” gender ideology into law in Bill C-16.

That message came loud and clear from panelists who blasted the bill on its first anniversary, and gender theory in general, at a discussion in Toronto July 18.

“Let me get this out of the way: gender is binary and not a social construct,” sex neuroscientist Dr. Debra Soh told the crowd of 725 at Canada’s Christian College to a burst of applause. 

“Children should not be used as pawns to further this agenda.”

Journalist Barbara Kay, lawyer Jared Brown, free speech advocate Lindsay Shepherd and organizer Sarina Singh likewise decried Bill C-16, which added “gender identity and expression” to Canada’s Human Rights Code and its Criminal Code hate crime section.

The Liberals passed the law last June over warnings from now famous Toronto psychologist Jordan Peterson it would lead to compelled speech. 

One year later, government, teachers’ unions, and the media have swallowed whole what Soh described as the “false and unscientific” gender ideology, which at last count proposed 72 varieties, including “moon gender” — in which one’s true gender only comes out at night.

“We are drowning in misinformation on this subject,” Soh said.

“Mainstream media coverage of it frankly terrifies me.”

Jail for denying gender theory

Brown, who appeared with Peterson before the Senate last May to argue against Bill C-16, said a “small cadre of trans activists” have “made a successful revolution” by instantiating a social construct into law.

Denying gender theory under Bill C-16 could result in jail or bankruptcy, he said.

A human rights tribunal can levy fines, or assign a “public interest remedy,” such as sensitivity training, and non-compliance would be considered contempt of court, said Brown.

And tribunals are now dealing with an “abundance” of gender identity discrimination claims, including a man who identified his gender as “the king” and was upset his “monarchy and authority was discriminated against.”

While “the king” lost, such claims flow logically from Bill C-16, which does not define gender expression and identity “to make the law as inclusive as possible,” Brown noted.

He advised people watch the case of Barry Neufeld, a British Columbia school trustee facing a human rights complaint for “transphobia” for criticizing the province’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI 123) curriculum.

Panelist Lindsay Shepherd said she was the first person publicly known to be accused of breaking Bill C-16.

A Wilfred Laurier University faculty member infamously accused the teaching assistant of transgressing Bill C-16 for showing students a video debate between Peterson and a transgender activist on the topic of gender identity, but not forewarning them of Peterson’s views.

That implies to criticize Bill C-16 is to violate it, Shepherd said.

She warned people to be alert to “cultural trends” advancing gender ideology.

For example, a GLAAD spokesman told the Toronto Star last month: “We need to start normalizing asking for pronouns, not just for non-binary trans people but in daily life.” 

That would include adding pronouns to one’s email signature and offering them when introduced, such as: “I use he/him pronouns. What about you?”

Teaching assistants told her they’ve been asked to declare their pronouns in classroom introductions, Shepherd said. She advises them, “just say your name, no pronoun.”

Facebook blocked organizer, YMCA pulled venue

Peterson was not there but promoted the panel before and after on Twitter, and his name was invoked frequently by panelists.​

Organizer Singh, former social worker turned free speech and parental rights’ advocate, made headlines last August when she booked Peterson for a free speech discussion at Ryerson University.

Ryerson pulled the venue a week before the event, citing safety concerns. Singh regrouped, and held the panel at Canada Christian College in November, drawing a record crowd of 1,500.

Singh rented space at the downtown YMCA for this year’s panel, but was told in May the facility inadvertently double-booked.

But the night before the YMCA called her, Singh received an email boasting “that’s the second time I’ve directly caused your plans to be changed.”

The sender mocked Singh as a “fraud” and concluded: “I’ll be keeping track of your footprint, however small it may be. I’ll keep calling, and keep emailing, and keep ensuring you stay on the fringe where it [sic] belongs.”

Moreover, Singh’s Rights and Freedoms Institute was “kicked off Facebook and my advertisements were all blocked,” and her website was briefly inaccessible, Singh said.

Moral obligation to speak out

A one time zealous left-wing feminist, Singh saw firsthand during her 22 years as a social worker the damage ideology does to families and children. She organized the panel at her own expense because she feels morally responsible to raise the alarm on gender ideology.

“I could never imagine the politically correct radical agenda reaching such a fervour that it would overlook science and medicine to instantiate this into law,” she told LifeSiteNews.

“I think a lot of people are actually not aware of what is actually happening in the schools, what actually is now policy, and what the results are if they don’t conform to this kind of thinking.”

Those who do know, may be “fearful,” but have to speak out, she says. 

“I really believe we’re at a point in our society where there are no options,” Singh said.

“This legislation is the most damning legislation I’ve seen, because its impact on children and teens will be absolutely enormous, and it will be lifelong.” 

Singh is undaunted by the hate mail, but concedes she’d like financial support to carry on her free speech advocacy, including more public discussions of contentious issues.

She’s offering a video of the C-16 panel on Vimeo for a small fee (here), and has launched a GoFundMe page “Identity Politics the New Normal” (here). 

“I’m still going to continue with this,” she told LifeSiteNews. 

“Because I really feel, like Dr Peterson always says, the price you pay when you don’t speak up is worse than the price you pay when you speak up.”