Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Canadian House of Commons approves transgendered rights bill

I'm really glad this bill passed the House of Commons today. But the close vote - 149 in favour, 137 against - is slightly disturbing. But then again, we have a strong, stable, secure Conservative majority under Stephen Harper, who regrettably was among the 137 opposed. I guess we're lucky to get this passed under these circumstances.

On one side, we had the NDP, most Liberals, Elizabeth May, the Bloc Quebecois, an independent and a handful of Conservatives (including cabinet ministers John Baird, Jim Flaherty, Lisa Raitt and James Moore) in favour of allowing transgendered and transsexual people to live free from 'gender identity-based' discrimination. On the other side, we had the so-cons, including Rob Anders and Stephen Harper.

When Rob Anders is voting with you, you have a major problem! Anders' attacks on this bill were complete misinformation designed to whip up ancient fears against people who are different. A good friend of mine was transgendered. I'm thinking of him tonight as I smile at the result in the Commons today.

This is a largely symbolic change to the federal anti-discrimination laws but it sends a much-needed message.

3 comments:

Tom said...

You should have said "most of the Liberal party...".
Not all the members voted for the bill.

Matt Guerin said...

Thanks, Tom. My information from this site indicates that all Liberals present voted for the bill. http://openparliament.ca/votes/41-1/645/

However, Macleans magazine says that Judy Sgro and John McKay apparently abstained from voting (they are simply listed with other absent Liberals as "Didn't vote" on the first site linked above.)

http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/03/20/c-279-passes-the-house/

But those Liberals who did vote, voted in favour.

Jeremy said...

Such a feel good story it brought tears of joy to my eyes. It is about time that Canada as a diverse open nation lead the world in the fight against discrimination and bigotry towards transgender people. Looks so good on PM Harper and his right winged cronies they wear it well!!!!