EDMONTON, Alberta, August 29, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Although the University of Alberta already has unisex restrooms on campus, the university has agreed to create “all-gender washrooms” for transgender students.
“We see a lot of people on our campus who may be trans- or gender non-conforming who do have issues with the washrooms because they are forced to act on this [sexual] binary,” said Melanie Alexander of the school's “Gender-Based Violence Prevention Project,” according to a CBC report.
“It’s this really vulnerable place to be when you don’t feel like you have places that reflect your gender expression,” she added.
The school has replaced the signs on all single-toilet washrooms, such as those that are wheelchair accessible, with ones that show both male and female figures in addition to a wheelchair.
The university will also be providing a map of the “all-gender” washrooms to students when they return to school next week.
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The Gender Based Violence Prevention Project (GBVPP). which describes itself as a “new project of the Students' Union that promotes a campus free of gender based violence,” works in conjunction with campus homosexual groups.
GBVPP is funded by Status of Women Canada.
While some of the washrooms on campus will still be designated for men or women, if the federal government's controversial transgender “bathroom bill” is successfully reintroduced after the new session of Parliament begins, it may become illegal to prevent a male student who calls himself transgendered to use a campus restroom intended for women.
Bill C-279, which seeks to include “gender identity” and “gender expression” as protected rights in the hate crimes sections of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, was before the Senate, but failed to pass third and final reading before the summer break. Prime Minister Stephen Harper's recently announced decision to prorogue Parliament.
University of Alberta
Indira Samarasekera, President
2-24M South Academic Building
Edmonton, AB T6G 2G7
Phone: (780) 492-3212
E-mail: [email protected]