Queer Ontario’s Statement on Bill C-16 & Responsible Follow Up
For Immediate Release May 18, 2016
Queer Ontario Applauds Federal Government’s Proposed Bill C-16:Urges Responsible Follow Up
Toronto: Queer Ontario applauds the proposed Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, to include both gender identity and gender expression in human rights and criminal code legislation. We are particularly encouraged by the broad, non-binary language of the proposed bill to ensure protection of transsexual, transgender and intersex people regardless of where they place themselves on the gender spectrum
Some of the worst cases of discrimination and harassment are experienced by the trans and intersex populations and such human rights and criminal code protections are long over due. Passage of Bill C-16 in the House of Commons and similar action by the Senate would extend these much needed rights and protections for populations who have long felt excluded from Canadian society. Hence, we urge MPs to support Bill C-16 and vote in favour of it becoming legislation.
Further to Bill C-16 becoming law, Queer Ontario urges the government to undertake responsible implementation by addressing ID issues, establishing gender-neutral washrooms, education at airports and other border crossings, protections in federal prisons and inclusion in the national census. Providing rights and protections for trans and intersex people is a first step, yet implementing such legislation in a way that improves the quality of their lives will speak to a real sense of inclusion and acceptance in Canadian society.
Queer Ontario is a provincial network of gender and sexually diverse individuals — and their allies — who are committed to questioning, challenging, and reforming the laws, institutional practices, and social norms that regulate queer people. Operating under liberationist and sex-positive principles, we fight for accessibility, recognition, and pluralism, using social media and other tactics to engage in political action, public education, and coalition building.