Bill ammendment protects transgendered from hate crimes
A Canadian law has been amended to protect transgendered people from hate crimes.
In Section 318 of Bill C-389 in the Criminal Code, subsection four protects people from hate crimes directed towards them based on their colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.
C-389 adds “gender identity,” defined as the gender persons identify with regardless of physical gender, and “gender expression,” referring to the way an individual chooses to portray their gender, be it clothing, mannerisms, presentation and/or roles, to the section’s list of specifications.
Vancouver lawyer and gay activist Barbara Findlay is quoted in the the LGBT news magazine Xtra as being excited about the distinction for transsexuals across the country.
“Among other things, it protects lesbian women who look ‘too butch,’ and it would protect gay men who are ‘too femme,’” said Findlay.
In addition to the protection on basis of gender identity and expression, Findlay said
This bill protects the people who are targeted based on looking like the gender they identify with, or physically are.
“It would also protect trans people who don’t ‘look like’ the gender that they identify with,” said Findlay.
“The addition of protection on the basis of gender identity and gender expression protects all of us who might be targeted for hatred or discrimination on that basis. It does not give any group ‘more rights’ than anyone else.”
In addition to the amendment to the Criminal Code, the Canadian Human Rights act, which protects against housing and employment discrimination, will also include the same changes.
Following the bill’s approval, Alberta Trans, a provincial organization and support group for transsexuals, issued a brochure to inform the public about the changes being made.
The brochure said “while it is true that there is implicit inclusion for transsexuals alternately under the category of “sex” or “gender” (depending on the wording of the specific province in question), clear and unambiguous protection is important to be codified in law to avoid an unexpected overrule that would create a new contrary precedent.”
Trangendered support groups
• AlbertaTrans.org is a great online resource for transsexuals, intersex and two-soul individuals.
• Calgary Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity miscyouth.ca is a collective of LGBTQ youth members dedicated to get-togethers, performance events and education.
• gayfriendsincalgary.ca a group of LGTBQ and straight individuals that meet weekly, have events and fundraisers to support the growing LGBTQ community.
• You can also visit your local bookstore or library for titles like Transgendered History, and Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman.