C-279 transgender ‘bathroom bill’

That is the title of a Campaign Life Coalition http://www.campaignlifecoalition.com/index.php?p=Gender_identity_laws . As a transgendered person I find that the whole report is filled with hate and lies.

Lifestreamews stated, Numerous family organizations have opposed the bill, saying that it would open a Pandora’s box of sexual anarchy, including giving biological men a legal alibi to use women’s bathrooms, shower rooms, and changing rooms. They also charge that it would put in place the legal framework for normalizing pedophilia as the next “sexual orientation,” and abolishing society’s understanding of male and female. 

The bill, put forward by NDP LGBTT Critic Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC), defines “gender identity” as an “individual’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex that the individual was assigned at birth.”

From the Liberal Senate Forum you can find the Hansard of Second reading of Bill C-279, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity) you will find some of the conversations. Senator Mitchell from Alberta stated “This bill is specifically designed to do two things. First, it will amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to specify gender identity as a fundamental right and basis for defining discrimination. Second, it will amend the hate crimes section of the Criminal Code to include gender identity as a distinguishing characteristic in defining hate crimes under section 318, and also as aggravating circumstances to be taken into consideration at sentencing under section 718.2 of the Criminal Code.

… “gender identity” means, in respect of an individual, the individual’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex that the individual was assigned at birth.

Who are transgender or transsexual people? I think many of us often think of transgender people as cross-dressers — men who dress as women and women who dress as men. This is probably one of the most frequent misconceptions. Cross-dressers can often be quite comfortable with their gender and their sexual orientation and simply enjoy dressing in a way that many would see as different or inconsistent with what many hold as social norms for their gender.

On the other hand, a transgender or transsexual person is someone who has moved from the gender assigned to them at birth to the one that they experience in their heart and soul. They dress accordingly, and this is not therefore cross-dressing. For some, being expected to wear clothes associated with their birth sex has always felt wrong, like forced cross-dressing.

For those who say this definition or concept is not reflected, it is reflected in a number of areas of definition, and one is as stated by the Canadian Psychological Association in October 2010:

The Canadian Psychological Association affirms that all adolescent and adult persons have the right to define their own gender identity regardless of chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role. Moreover, all adolescent and adult persons have the right to free expression of their self-defined gender identity.

The Canadian Psychological Association opposes stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination on the basis of chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role, or on the basis of a self-defined gender identity or the expression thereof in exercising all basic human rights.

A transgender person simply knows that they are of a gender different from the one assigned them at birth and as indicated by the physical and physiological features of their body. In fact, data from the Trans PULSE Project indicates that roughly 60 per cent of trans people are aware that their gender does not match their body before they reached the age of 10. Over 80 per cent have this deeply felt awareness prior to the age of 19. No one knows conclusively why this is the case; it just is.

Why is it necessary? In some senses, what I have said to this point speaks for itself, but let me go into more detail. The Ontario Human Rights Commission has noted this in a way that summarizes the case that I will build:

There are, arguably, few groups in society today who are as disadvantaged and disenfranchised as the transgendered community. Transphobia combined with the hostility of society to the very existence of transgendered people are fundamental human rights issues.

One argument is that gender identity inclusion in the bill is not necessary since it is already covered in human rights legislation and in the Criminal Code under sex and disability, and some would also say under sexual orientation. As I say, if that is the case, then there is absolutely no harm, one would think, in simply adding belts to suspenders to make the protections even stronger and elevating and thereby educating on the issue.

Second, gender identity is not a disability. It is what someone simply is. It is who they are. The only thing that remotely “disables” trans people is the discrimination, violence and bullying that inhibits them from having full, safe and fulfilling lives in Canadian society.

Further, sexual orientation does not cover trans people because gender is very distinct from sexual orientation. If a transgender man, who has been born a woman but lives as a heterosexual man, is beaten for who he is, it is not a question of sexual orientation to him. In order to make that designation apply, he would literally have to lie about who he is.

Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer: I would like to ask Senator Mitchell a question, if he will accept it.

Senator Mitchell: Yes.

Senator Jaffer: When I came to the Senate, I understood we had two mandates; one was to allow national unity and the second was to protect minority rights. The bill before us today is really a natural evolution of the rights of minorities. The honourable senator was speaking about women and Aboriginal rights. Sometimes we take those for granted now because it has been a few years, but there are many people in our society who are still suffering discrimination.

I would like the honourable senator’s opinion. Is it not the role of the Senate, and the responsibility of every senator, to protect the rights of all Canadians?

So what is the problem with allowing the bill to pass?

A number of groups supporting the bill, including the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), argued to the committee that the bill would “make a very clear statement about the invisibility of transgender people”.

Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, speaking on the topic of the bill making trans people more “visible,” said that it would “provide a mandate for proactive, educational and anti-discrimination initiatives with respect to trans people.”

But numerous family organizations lead by religious values have opposed the bill, saying that it would open a Pandora’s box of sexual anarchy, including giving biological men a legal alibi to use women’s bathrooms, shower rooms, and changing rooms. They also charge that it would put in place the legal framework for normalizing pedophilia as the next “sexual orientation,” and abolishing society’s understanding of male and female.

According to comments made on giving biological me a legal alibi

Last November a college in Washington state decided it would not prevent a 45-year-old man who presents himself as a transgender “female” from lounging naked in a women’s locker room, in an area frequented by girls as young as six. Teenage girls on a high school swim team were using the facilities last September when they saw “Colleen” Francis exposing male genitalia through the glass window in a sauna.

In fact, this is simply and utterly not the case. Trans people are way more likely to suffer assault than ever to perpetrate it. The jurisdictions in the United States that have had these provisions in place for extended periods of time. California, Iowa, and the State of Washington replied that there had been no instances of attempts to use the protections for transgendered people for illegal or illegitimate purposes. There have been no instances — zero, none.

We only need to consider that any such activity, as is contemplated in this bathroom defence, or bathroom concern, would be so clearly criminal that no court would absolve it on this basis. Put another way, why would we risk discrimination against any law-abiding person on the basis of their gender identity because someone who may not even be transgender might dress up like a woman and undertake a criminal act in a woman’s washroom? No one should be held hostage to the actions of someone else, certainly someone whom they do not even know or have the remotest possibility of influencing. Catch and convict those who do perpetrate criminal activities and protect the rest.

Let’s get real folks speak up for the transgendered persons in your community. Bigorty doesnot belong in a secular state.

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