Transgendered rights bill faces another delay
An attempt at creating a Transgender rights bill which was on the verge of passing the Senate, received an unfortunate delay as it was not voted on before the summer break.
Passing the Transgender Rights Bill C-279 would mark the end of a frustrating eight year legislative battle to ensure transgendered Canadians receive protection from hate-speech under the law.
NDP MP Randall Garrison sponsored the bill, and is one critic voicing his frustration with Senate members putting their summer vacations ahead of the rights of Canadians.
"The Senate should have passed this, and it's disappointing that the transgender community is going to have to wait months again now unnecessarily for them to do this, but I still expect them to pass the bill," said Garisson, who spoke with Jennifer Ditchburn of The Canadian Press, July 4th.
Bill C-279 has been sidelined before, the earliest time in 2011 during which it received a third reading in the House of Commons, but was eliminated when an election was called.
Upon receiving the current version of Bill C-279, Senator Nancy Ruth has requested an amendment be made to specifically include a clause to protect women, In the current version the word ‘gender‘ is simply used, which Senator Ruth feels is not comprehensive enough.
This request for revision is sure to draw out the process even further. There have of course been critics of the bill, such as Conservative Senator Don Plett who worried the bill would hurt vulnerable members of Canada’s population such as children, making them more susceptible to sexual abuse.
"This bill will allow perverts to take advantage of the law, which is a problem I have," Plett said in June.
Those who are concerned about Bill C-279 worry sexual predators will masquerade as transgendered in order to gain access to children in public bathrooms, hence why critics of the bill have mockingly referred to it as “the bathroom bill.”
Truthfully, this concern does not make much sense, as there are no and should not be any prerequisites based on sexual-orientation, for entering a bathroom.
Despite the number of years it has taken for the Transgender Rights Bill to get to the point it is at now, it is a triumph for the rights of Canadians. Bill C-279’s passing will be a cause for celebration from supporters of equal rights across the political spectrum.