March 20, 2013
Regarding today's passing of Bill C-279 at 3rd reading, I continue to hold significant concerns that the passing of this Bill will ultimately make it tougher to pass a future Bill that includes "gender expression" as a protected ground, a ground that I feel is extremely necessary. This Bill essentially states that it is ok to have a self-identified gender, but it is not ok to express said gender.
I also continue to hold significant concerns that a formal definition for "gender identity" which equates it to a self-titled label, will create loopholes and barriers that will ultimately lead to continued, and even worse, additional, discrimination. Specifically, this may open the door for certain people to claim that transsexualism (aka Gender Dysphoria) is not a medical condition that requires medically-necessary treatment.
Furthermore, by creating a definition for Gender Identity, we risk putting limits on how Tribunals and Courts may interpret such an Act. This is the first time a definition has ever been added to a Bill in the Human Rights Act, setting what may be a dangerous precedent for future minority groups that will come to the table looking for equal rights.
Bill C-279 is significantly watered down from the Bill C-389 which was passed thru the Canadian house a few years ago. It appears that we as a nation are taking steps backward, rather than forward, in terms of keeping up with global standards, and this is ultimately disappointing. With this in mind, I will be urging the Senate to consider eliminating this flawed definition for Gender Identity, and consider reinstating Gender Expression, into the Bill, as they consider the matter further.
For more information on my concerns, see www.tcac279.org
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