Interim‘s coverage from the July edition of the paper: “Transgendered, transsexuals get special protections in Ontario.” The article begins:
On June 13 Bill 33, a private members bill in the Ontario legislature that would add “gender expression” and “gender identity” to the Ontario Human Rights Code and give special legal protection to people who self-identify as transgender and transsexual, passed with all-party support in an unrecorded vote.
Opponents of Bill 33 and similar bills at the federal level have called the amendments to human rights legislation the “Bathroom Bill” because among other consequences it would allow men access to female public washrooms.
Why does adding gender identity and gender identity to the province’s Human Rights Code matter?
[Liberal MPP Yasir] Naqvi called the passing of Bill 33 “a historic day because we are about to recognize, enshrine, and codify the rights of trans Ontarians into our Human Rights Code.” He said that the passing of the law is only the first step to further social change in Ontario: “We’re getting the legal recognition today, but we need to do the educating.”
Naqvi noted that the provisions of Bill 33, would apply to the workplace. Lou Iacobelli, who blogs at Everyday for Life, said that Bill 33 will do for the workplace what Bill 13 will do for the schools, noting that the human rights code applies to “services, accommodation, contracting, employment and membership in a trade union or a self-governing profession.”
Because the terms gender identity and gender identification are insufficiently defined, expect plenty of litigation in both the courts and before human rights commissions to determine whether businesses are deliberately or unintentionally “discriminating.”
Ontario is not alone in promoting special rights for people with gender identity disorder:
Similar legislation has passed second reading in the House of Commons and is being considered in Manitoba. The Northwest Territories is the only other Canadian government to have enacted special human rights protection for people who consider themselves transgender or transsexual.