New News on Bill C-389, The Greatest bill in Human History.

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Gender Freedom

By Kristy Kirkup, Parliamentary Bureau

In the upcoming session of Parliament, the NDP will move to re-introduce a bill to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to protect transgendered or transsexual citizens.

Bill C-389 made it all the way to the Senate before the election killed the bill. The legislation will be unrolled again by the NDP’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual (LGBTT) critic Randall Garrison.

The bill, which was originally introduced by former New Democrat MP Bill Siksay, is designed to outlaw discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression. It also calls for the Criminal Code to denounce hate crimes.

MPs from all parties, including several Tories, stood by the legislation which passed third reading in February by a 143-135 vote.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and most of the Conservative caucus voted against the bill, but six Tories voted in favour, including cabinet ministers John Baird and James Moore. The bill was likely headed for defeat in the unelected Senate.

Garrison said the NDP wants to see LGBTT issues become more of a priority in the House of Commons, but the party is not calling for a special ministry or minister to handle this file.

The B.C. MP also clarified comments made earlier this week by his NDP colleague, Dany Morin.

Morin had told a French radio station that Alberta is less open about LGBTT issues than la belle province. Garrison said this view is not shared by the party and communities need to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Kristy.Kirkup@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @kkirkup

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