From Amy Minsky, Postmedia News
February 9, 2011
OTTAWA — The House of Commons passed a bill Wednesday that will amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code to protect transgender and transsexual Canadians from discrimination.
“It’s a great day,” said the bill’s author, NDP MP Bill Siksay. “It’s been in the works for six years, and it’s great to see people from all parties supporting the bill. This is not a partisan issue, it’s a human rights issue.”
When all heads were counted, 143 MPs voted for Bill C-389 and 135 voted against.
The amendments proposed in the bill prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression through adding “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination in the Canada Human Rights Act, and through adding transgender and transsexual Canadians as identifiable groups in the Criminal Code’s hate crimes law.
The term ‘gender expression’ refers to an individual’s outward expression of their inward sense of gender, Siksay said.
A majority of Conservative members voted against the bill, prompting opposition members to applaud Tory ministers and members Lawrence Cannon, Lisa Raitt, John Baird, John Moore, Shelly Glover and Gerald Keddy when they rose to their feet to support the bill.