Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bill C-16 Passes Senate Third Reading!

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June 15, 2017 is a date that will be etched into Canadian trans history.

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It's been a long time coming, with the first of these bills being proposed back in 2005.   It has been at times a long and frustrating road for my Canadian trans family, but when they celebrate their home and native land's 150th birthday on July 1, they will do so knowing that their human rights are covered federally as well as in every province and territory in the country.

I've talked about Bill C-16 in numerous blog posts.  It would add gender identity and expression to the list of prohibited categories under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

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It would also make changes to the Canadian Criminal Code so that gender identity and expression are added to the nation's hate speech laws and make disseminating hate propaganda based on gender identity or gender expression a crime.

Bill C-16 would also add "gender identity or expression" to section 718.2 of the Criminal Code. This section of it discusses sentencing provisions and would make gender identity and gender expression an aggravating factor, which would be the bias, prejudice or hate to commit a criminal offence against the targeted person. These criminal prohibitions would apply throughout Canada..

Translation:  Targeting trans people in Canada for simply being trans would become a hate crime.

As you probably guessed, the Conservatives hated Bill C-16, and did their utmost to kill it when it left the House of Commons and hit the Senate.   

This was the first time  the Trans Rights Bill was a government bill and not a private member's one as it has been on previous occasions thanks to NDP MP's Bill Siksay and Randall Garrison

Senate Expenses 20131025

ill C-16 passed its Third Reading vote in the Canadian Senate without amendments today on a 67-11 vote with 3 abstentions!.  Transphobic Conservative senator Don Plett, who led the charge in the senate to kill it, was probably one of the 11 no votes

Now all it needs is Royal Assent from the Governor General to become Canadian law

When those 150th anniversary celebrations erupt all over Canada, my Canadian trans fam can do so knowing that their nation respects their humanity and human rights enough to protect it in their laws.

And that a wonderful thing to think about.  

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