One of the fundamental directives driving instructors give their students early on is, “Check your blind spot.” That might also be good advice for pro-family Canadians currently embroiled in the battle to save the institution of marriage as it’s always been known.
That’s because, while their comrades in the homosexual lobby push for legal recognition of what passes for permanent or quasi-permanent unions among themselves, the trans-sexual and pan-sexual element is torquing up its efforts for status, recognition and acceptance.
Those efforts have reached a new level with the news that the federal New Democratic party’s critic for Canadian human rights, MP Bill Siksay (Burnaby Douglas), in-tends to introduce a private member’s bill to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act early this year to “address the lack of protections that trans-sexual and trans-gender people have from experiences of harassment under the Canadian Human Rights Act.”
Siksay’s moves are a followup to a “trans legislative needs assessment” held in Ottawa last year and an outgrowth of the NDP’s professed “commitment to address human rights issues of the trans-sexual and trans-gender ‘communities.'”
A Human Rights Act amendment would be a step up (or down, depending on how you look at it) from the current state of affairs, wherein B.C.’s human rights commission has formally recommended the inclusion of “gender identity” as a protected category, while Ontario’s human rights commission has a lengthy policy document, drafted in July 2000, that declares “sex” to also encompass “gender identity.”
The City of Toronto, known for its active pro-homosexual positions on a wide range of issues, includes “gender identity,” sex and “sexual orientation” in its Declaration of Non-Discrimination. But no international human rights document yet refers to “gender identity” or “sexual orientation.”
However, other developments in recent years point out a possible move toward further acceptance of what many see as sexual mutilation and an ideology of pan-sexuality. (According to one lesbian website, the latter term can be described as “a sexuality that has many different forms, objects, and outlets … many forms of sexual expression … (it) is a broader term than ‘bi-sexual,’ because it includes not only loving both men and women, but also trans-gendered people and ‘gender-fluid’ people who do not feel they fit into categories of male or female.”)
One Toronto group catering to that element lists just some of the categories involved in the pan-sexual movement: “two-spirited, inter-sexed, ftm, mtf, boyz, grrrls, tranny, gender-fluid, gender-f—, androgynous folks, cross-dressers, drag kings, drag queens, gender queer, gender blenders, gender benders, butches, femmes, sofas, tranny boys/girls/dykes/fags, questioning, tranny bears and curious folk.”
This element is not as much on the wacky fringes as some might believe. Too many Canadians can recall that gay “marriage” was unthinkable barely six years ago, yet it is now on our doorstep. A number of other developments have pointed to a troubling, increasing acceptance and-or imposition of these lifestyles:
- In October 2002, the University of Toronto’s University College hosted the third annual Trans-Sexual/Trans-Gender Film Festival, featuring 14 graphic and perverse films.
- In July 2002, a 64-year-old British male won sanction before the European Court of Human Rights to be recognized as a “woman” and to be allowed to “marry.” The court ruled that Britain failed to recognize the man’s new identity in law. This was a breach of his “rights to respect for privacy and … right to marry under the European Convention of Human Rights.”
- In February 2003, a Canadian federal court judge ordered that Canada’s federal prison system pay for sex-change operations among inmates who ask for them. Madam Justice Layden-Stevenson based her ruling on the view that a patient can be diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” – a term used for persons who believe they are the wrong sex.
- In February 2003, a Florida woman was awarded custody of two young children after undergoing operations to become a “man.” Pasco County Judge Gerard O’Brien ruled that, “Chromosomes are only one factor in the determination of sex and they do not over-rule gender or self-identity, which is the true test or identifying mark of sex.” A bit of sanity was provided in the case when one lawyer opined that the decision was “like a barnyard door coming open … We’re headed for big trouble … It will create utter chaos.”
- In April 2003, the Democrat-controlled State Assembly of California passed a measure that provided for fines of up to $150,000 against business owners who refuse to hire cross-dressing or trans-sexual employees. The bill created a new definition of the term “gender” in California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act: “Identity, appearance or behaviour, whether or not that identity, appearance or behaviour is different from that traditionally associated with the victim’s sex at birth.”
- In February 2004, the British House of Lords approved a bill that would recognize a “new gender” – trans-sexual. Trans-sexuals, thought to number about 5,000, would be allowed a new birth certificate with their perceived new gender.
These developments are all part of an effort – much like the one staged by the homosexual lobby in past years – to overturn many of the conventions of civilized life under the pretext of “equal rights for all.”
The U.S. National Trans-Gender Advocacy Coalition asserts that, “Every human being has within themselves an idea of who they are and what they are capable of achieving. That identity and capability shall not be limited by a person’s physical or genetic sex, nor by what any society may deem as ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ behaviour. It is fundamental, then, that each individual has the right to assume gender roles congruent with one’s self-perceived identity and capabilities, regardless of physical sex, genetic sex or sex role.”
The NTAC adds, “Given that each individual has the right to assume gender roles, it then follows that each individual has the right to change their body or alter its physiology so it better fits a gender role. These changes may be cosmetically, chemically or surgically induced, provided these changes are supervised by an appropriate, licensed professional and the individual accepts sole responsibility for their actions in this regard … Each individual has the right to express their sexuality within a gender role.”
How far has this agenda gotten already? The NTAC, in a “2004 trans-gender retrospective,” noted a number of developments in the U.S. last year:
- The number of U.S. jurisdictions with “trans-gender inclusive non-discrimination laws” grew from 68 to 74. Trans-gender inclusive legislation is said to now cover a quarter of the U.S.
- Seven trans-gendered persons were elected as delegates to the Democratic National Convention.
- The Trans-Gender American Veterans Association organized a first-ever gathering of about 50 people in Washington, D.C.
- Insurance company Aetna announced “sex reassignment surgery” could be included as a benefit in company health insurance policies.
- An Internal Revenue Service official ruled that “gender reassignment surgery” is “medically necessary,” thereby allowing a tax deduction for the procedure.
- The Sixth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act covers trans-gendered persons.
Some major employers that display open acceptance of trans-sexuality include: American Airlines, Amoco, Apple, AT&T, Boeing, Compaq, Continental Airlines, DuPont, Eastman Kodak, Gateway Computers, Mattel Inc., NBC, Northwest Airlines, the N.Y. Times, Shell, Southwest Airlines, Sun Microsystems and United Airlines.
The website of the Queen’s University (Kingston, Ont.) Human Rights Office (at www.queensu.ca/humanrights/tgts/tgts_experiences.htm) carries an account of York University philosophy professor Michael A. Gilbert, who “must decide what to wear” before delivering a lecture. “Most likely, he will put on a knee-length skirt, a long-sleeved blouse, and low pumps,” it says. “Standing before a mirror at home, he’ll fix his wig and apply some makeup before heading out the door.”
We are told that Gilbert is among a growing cadre of “trans” people on campuses who are going public. Organizations for gay, lesbian and bi-sexual students, meanwhile, have been tacking a “T” on the end of their names to embrace “trans-gendered” or “trans-sexual” students.
Nonetheless, only about .025 per cent of Americans identify themselves as trans-sexual and about two per cent trans-gendered, according to the International Foundation for Gender Education, in Waltham, Mass.
In academia, works by trans-gendered scholars are reportedly making trans-gender studies a “hot” new topic. One of the most important contributions to the field, a trans-gender issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay studies, edited by Susan Stryker, has been issued by Duke University Press. A flurry of other publications on the topic is also expected and trans-sexual academics have started an electronic mailing list.
The Queen’s University article goes on to refer to a “third way.”
“Boys won’t always be boys and girls won’t always be girls. But what if they don’t want to be either? The answer, as many of them are discovering, lies somewhere in between.” The article tellingly admits that the rate of attempted suicide among trans-gendered youth is estimated at 50 per cent. Every one of the 12 trans-gendered and trans-sexual people interviewed for the Queen’s article, save one, attempted suicide at least once.
What is one to make of all the madness? According to Thomas W. Jacobson, Focus on the Family’s representative to the United Nations, heterosexual attraction between males and females is the only natural and normal sexual orientation. He has identified 21 sexual deviations that may be classified as “paraphilias,” including homosexuality, bi-sexuality, trans-genderism, sadism, exhibitionism, voyeurism and necrophilia.
“‘Sexual orientation’ is a term without clinical or legal definition,” he says, in a document for Focus on the Family. He notes that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association identifies 16 types of sexual deviations and abnormal sexual behaviours. Of course, homosexuality was removed from that list in 1974 due to political pressure.
However, the fourth edition of the manual, published in 1994, still included the phenomena of trans-genderism, trans-sexual and transvestite in its listing of deviations and abnormal behaviours.
More locally, Toronto has a youth-oriented “Supporting Our Youth” program run through the city’s Sherbourne Health Centre. Its programs embrace: BQY – the Black Queer Youth initiative; Fluid – a group for bi-sexual, bi-curious, pan-sexual, gender queer, questioning and queer youth who don’t fit neatly into categories; Essence – “queer youth, allies and friends gather to uncover, discover, recover their deeper selves and to discuss non-denominational and queer-positive ideas and practices of spirituality, faith and community;” the Trans_Fusion Crew – an activist project creating social and political spaces that speak to the concerns, struggles, and victories of trans-gendered, trans-sexual, “two-spirited and inter-sexed” youth and allies.
Sponsors and supporters of the program include the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Children’s Aid Foundation, the United Way of Greater Toronto, the Canadian Auto Workers Union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto and Starbucks.
In Mississauga, Ont., just outside Toronto, Christian activists with the Pray Always Mississauga organization have noted with alarm an attempt to institute “unisex” change rooms and shower facilities at the newly renovated Mississauga Valley and Huron park Community Centres.
Bruce Fligg of PALM has noted that a government of Canada document entitled, “Out and About – Towards a Better Understanding of Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Trans-Gendered Persons in the Workplace” includes a line that states: “A recognized way to accommodate trans-gendered persons in the workplace – and one that is suggested by the duty to accommodate policy – is to adapt facilities, if possible, to make unisex, single-stall washrooms available for persons who would feel uncomfortable using regular facilities because of their gender identity or expression.”
Fligg was invited by city officials to tour the new facilities, but was afterwards left with the unanswered questions: “Who are the people this new design is trying to accommodate? Why do city officials have an apparent concern for same-gender nudity in gender-specific change rooms? Why can’t I talk with those people whom city staff claim like the new facilities?”
Based on the government of Canada document, Fligg surmised that the changes might be being made to accommodate the needs of trans-gendered persons. A city official cryptically told him that the “community change area” was designed in a manner “to enhance customer service and safety, and to respond to changing and diverse family/community makeup (emphasis added).”
Another official claimed that there was “overwhelming support” for common change rooms after public consultation.
However, the situation generated a flap among those using the centres when the news was covered in both the Mississauga News and Toronto Star newspapers. Parent Sherri Thompson said her 14-year-old daughter should not have to change in a stall with males on either side who could invade her privacy. And Patricia Paddey said she was “shocked” that her 14-year-old daughter was directed into a communal change room with boys under 16.
“The boys,” she noted wryly, “seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere.”
Terri Williams said it was “ridiculous” to think that her 13-year-old daughter would change beside high school students of the opposite sex. “Whoever approved this should lose their job,” she said.
At a November city council meeting, Mayor Hazel McCallion announced that the city – perhaps in the face of a 700-name petition opposing the unisex facilities – had decided to review the situation. The council requested a report from the commissioner of community services for Mississauga. Unfortunately, the commissioner dismissed concerns and indicated there is no need for gender-specific change rooms.
Fligg responded that he was “perplexed” by the commissioner’s disregard and wondered what issues were at the root of it. He suspected that trans-gender accommodation was a major factor. He quoted the commissioner referring to accommodating “certain adult needs” in a deputation before city council.
City officials later claimed they had not clearly communicated their intent to the public regarding the change from “family” to “community” change room facilities. Fligg surmised their attitude was that, over time, people would get used to the unisex facilities and values would change. However, his concerns, and those of others, were inflamed in December when two people were caught in a sexual act in the change room at the Huron Park community centre.
To this point in time, the unisex change room issue seems to be a hot potato that no one on city council, including Mayor McCallion, seems willing to address head-on. Fligg vows that civic leaders won’t be able to weasel out easily and it may be necessary to “swamp” the mayor’s office with letters and telephone calls complaining about the situation.