Yesterday’s excellent news in Canada turns into today’s Tory horror show. The Globe and Mail predicts that the transgendered-rights bill is headed for defeat in the Tory-held Senate. Bill C-389 would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to protect the rights of transgendered or transsexual citizens. It would prohibit discrimination on the basis of “gender identity” or “gender expression” in the workplace or elsewhere, and would amend the Criminal Code to make crimes committed against people because they are transgendered or transsexual a hate crime.
Bill C-389 was a Private Member’s bill, sponsored by NDP MP Bill Siksay. Normally private members have little chance of passing but what was remarkable in this case that MPs from all parties, including several Conservatives, rallied behind the legislation. But Canada’s Conservatives, who have a majority in the Red Chamber, have adopted the tactic of using the Senate to block private-members’ bills passed by the House of Commons that don’t accord with the government’s agenda.
For example legislation to force the government to act on climate change was defeated last year, while bills requiring Supreme Court judges to be bilingual, providing tax credits for university graduates who work in certain regions and offering restitution for Italian Canadians interned during the Second World War, lie in limbo.
Since Prime Minister Stephen Harper does not support the transgendered-rights legislation, it will doubtless face similar purgatory when it arrives in the Senate.
Most of this story is from the Globe and Mail article. You can read more from The Globe and Mail, , including what the bill’s crazy critics have to say, here. A commentary supporting the bill was also published in the Globe and Mail.