Transgender bill passes in Commons, heads to Senate

  • February 14, 2011
OTTAWA - A bill that could reshape society’s understanding of human sexuality by granting protected status to transgendered and transsexual people passed a final vote in the House of Commons and has gone to the Senate.

NDP MP Bill Siksay’s private members’ Bill C-389, which would add gender identity and gender expression to the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act, passed 143-135.

Most Conservatives voted against the bill Feb. 9, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, while the leaders of the Opposition parties all supported it.

“This was a tight vote,” said Catholic Organization for Life and Family director Michele Boulva. “It shows that almost half of our MPs understand that their role is not to impose new social norms inspired by the gender ideology, but to respect natural law when they legislate. Hopefully the Senate will give sober second thought to this.”

Conservative Senator Gerry St. Germain, who intends to vote against the bill, said the vote is “an indication of just how secularized our House of Commons has become.”

“I worry about our children and how confused they could become in a situation like this.”

St. Germain’s concern was echoed by Campaign Life Coalition. Before the vote, the national pro-life organization issued a press release warning about transgenderism being taught in the schools

“The passage of Bill C-389 will only cement the government’s agenda to bring the controversial issues into Kindergarten classes,” said Alissa Golob of Campaign Life Coalition. “These attacks will only get stronger if C-389 passes and the activists behind this legislation will have the perceived ‘moral authority’ to demand that transgenderism be taught in school as something that is natural and normal.”

McGill University Christian studies professor Douglas Farrow pointed out Siksay did not hide that education of children was part of his agenda. He said the bill represents an attack on the notion of “sex” as “the natural division of the species of male and female,” and expressed concerns about the determination to replace “the standard notion of sex” with “the more malleable concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

As Bill C -389 moves to the Senate, REAL Women of Canada national vice president Gwen Landolt stressed that the Conservatives fought the bill in the House. It is uncertain whether the bill will become law because the Senate is no longer dominated by the Liberal Party, she said. A spring election could also kill the bill.

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