BILL TO GUARANTEE EQUAL RIGHTS TO TRANSGENDER CANADIANS

The article I am posting below was forwarded to me earlier this morning and details the exact legislation to be encouraged and requested during my upcoming meetings in Washington, DC during the week of April 16th. Once again Canada is ahead of the US in remedying human rights violations.

I have witnessed and experienced the same types of discrimination outlined in this article and relate to the transgender victims around the world who are brutally murdered each year and feel that we must introduce such legislation to protect the rights of all humans including transgenders. As a world leader it is unthinkable that we allow a minority to live under such vile conditions as spoken about in this article.

As US Citizens it is our responsibility to push for such legislation and we are asking you to begin an email campaign to your Senators and Congress persons to seek their support for this legislation.

I apologize for the blank screens below this heading but if you scroll down past them you can read the full article. There was some difficulty pasting this in.

Bill to Guarantee Equal Rights to Transgender Canadians

12  commentsBill to Guarantee Equal Rights to Transgender Canadians

A bill up for debate this month proposes adding gender identity to the list  of protected human rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The  upshot of this bill is that it would become illegal to discriminate against  somebody on the basis of their gender identity. Currently, there are no legal  protections for transgender, transsexual, or gender non-conforming  individuals.

The bill was introduced by NDP MP Randall Garrison back in the fall. This  April will open up debate after the second reading of the bill in the House of  Commons.

This bill has received remarkably little media attention, but  non-traditionally gendered people are speaking out on what a bill like this  could mean for their lives. Natalie Reed, a blogger on transgender issues, has written at length on her experiences being discriminated  against, misgendered, and denied services — just the sorts of things that people  can still get away with when their targets are an unprotected minority  group:

How many trans people (including myself) have  been openly and loudly  misgendered at the welfare office? How many trans women  have been kicked  out of women’s shelters on the basis of being “really men” and  forced  to humiliate themselves and risk violence or sexual assault trying to be  accommodated by men’s shelters? How many have been turned away from  food banks  on the basis that they don’t have “proper” identification?  How many of us,  exposed to this bigotry, humiliation, invalidation and  risk simply stop trying  to seek work or assistance, and end up falling  between the cracks of the  system, all because nobody can even be  bothered to acknowledge this crucial gap  in Canadian human rights law?

She makes an interesting but possibly spot-on analogy to class. At the  moment, transgender citizens potentially don’t even have basic human rights:  access to emergency services (like shelters), equal opportunity in job  interviews, government services, etc. On the other hand, as she points out,  there is a lot of rallying around the cause of same-sex marriage.

I find myself increasingly frustrated by the  amount of energy the LGBTQ  rights movement expends on issues such as marriage,  adoption or DADT. It  seems like a rather explicitly classist mentality  to prioritize the  ability of those already comfortably situated as full  participants in  society to pursue middle-class, nuclear family privileges while  others  do not yet even have the basic level of protections required to be able   to seek employment, or at least receive assistance from institutions  like  emergency shelters.

I’m not sure I would use the word “privilege” with respect to equal marriage  rights, but her point is well-taken. I’m reminded of early feminism, which was  largely about equal rights for white, middle-class women, and not women  everywhere. It was necessary for other women to speak up to be included in that  social progress.

Which is not to say we should all abandon the cause of DADT and same-sex  marriage until trans rights have caught up. I don’t think that’s what Natalie is  saying either. She goes on to point out that the trans community absolutely  supports all of these things.

The issue at hand is that there isn’t more interest and outrage at the fact  that discrimination against transgender citizens is legally acceptable. We don’t  have to choose one cause or another. If there was a finite amount of  attention we were willing or able to devote to LGBT issues, then I might suggest  this would be a good time to focus our attention on Bill C-279, and get back to  less urgent LGBT topics after it’s been passed. However, since I don’t think  that’s the case, I suggest we continue to do all of the above.

Things you can do to help C-279 (paraphrased from Randall Garrison with some  additions made):

-Contact your MP and tell them how important this legislation is to you.  You  can find out who your MP is at http://www.elections.ca/scripts/pss/FindED.aspx?L=e.

-Write to the Minister of Justice and tell him how important this   legislation is to you. His contact information can be found here, http://www.robnicholsonmp.ca/contact/.

-Write to the Prime Minister of Canada and tell him how important  this  legislation is to you.  His contact information can be found here,   http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/contact.asp.

-Sign our petition.

-Don’t stop following this issue and talking to your friends about it.

Related stories:

Transgender  Teacher Forced to Quit Job in New Mexico

Transgender  Contestant Barred from Beauty Pageant

Six Months After DADT Repeal Sky Still Not Falling

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Image credit: Holly  Boswell

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/bill-to-guarantee-equal-rights-to-transgender-canadians.html#ixzz1qzvzkvMy

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