Canada: New Bill Proposes Jail Time for Anti-Transgender Speech

Canada: New Bill Proposes Jail Time for Anti-Transgender Speech

Canada has introduced legislation that would make hate speech against transgender individuals a crime punishable with jail time.

According to The Christian Post, Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who leads the Liberal Party government, introduced the bill, stating:

"As a society, we have taken many important steps toward recognizing and protecting the legal rights for the LGBTQ2 community – from enshrining equality rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the passage of the Civil Marriage Act," Trudeau said in a May 17 speech. "There remains much to be done, though. Far too many people still face harassment, discrimination, and violence for being who they are. This is unacceptable."

"To do its part, the Government of Canada today will introduce legislation that will help ensure transgender and other gender-diverse people can live according to their gender identity, free from discrimination, and protected from hate propaganda and hate crimes,” he added.

If passed, the new legislation would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to include discrimination against gender identity and gender expression.

Canada already has a law banning anti-gay “hate propaganda,” and in 2013, the Canadian Supreme Court upheld a conviction of a Christian street preacher who had distributed fliers against homosexuality.

Trudeau plans to march in Toronto’s Gay Pride parade in July.

In the U.S., efforts are also being taken to protect transgenders. New York City recently enacted a policy forcing businesses and individuals to use preferred pronouns such as “ze” or “hir” when referring to transgenders.  

Publication date: May 24, 2016