Waters: Human rights need protecting regardless of gender identity

The federal government has done the right thing by extending human rights laws to cover transgender Canadians.

Sometimes you just have to stop and shake your head at the stupidity of what comes out of some people’s mouths—or in this case, even worse, what was written in a premeditated news release.

In response to the federal government’s move to protect transgendered people in this country under human rights legislation, the president of an organization that grandly calls itself the Institute for Canadian Values, says gender identity is “fluid” and “momentary.”

Huh?

Charles McVety says the proposed legislation to stop discrimination based on gender identity is “reckless.”

While Canadians may debate what values they hold near and dear, I doubt anyone could seriously argue that protecting all human rights is not a Canadian value.

Well, maybe with the exception is McVety and anyone who else who thinks human rights protections for transgendered people means the door will somehow swing open to “any man who wishes to access women’s bathrooms or girl’s showers with momentary gender fluidity.”

He goes on to say “Every Member of Parliament should examine their conscience over the potential of their vote exposing women and girls to male genitalia and even being sexually violated, not by a ‘transgender’ (his parentheses) person but by the sexual predator protected by Bill C-16.”

In other words, if we protect transgendered people, we give sexual predators the green light to molest. Seriously?

His quantum leap in logic seems to ignore the fact that transgendered people are being discriminated against today. And, as for the bathroom example, transgendered folks have been using male and female bathrooms for a long time and it hasn’t been an issue. And besides, bathrooms have stalls.

The fact of the matter is: Transgendered people, like gays and lesbians before them, minorities before them and women before them face discrimination in this country everyday and that’s why sex, religion, race, sexual orientation, and now gender identity, need to be included as areas where discrimination will not be tolerated.

Canada didn’t go to hell in a hand-basket when same-sex marriage was made legal, and it won’t when transgendered people are protected from discrimination in places like the job market, housing, healthcare and on the street.

As for gender identity being “fluid” and “momentary,” McVety is just plain wrong.

My daughter went to school with a girl who became a boy. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t quick and it wasn’t without a great deal of pain, and yes, discrimination.

That young man is one of the bravest people I have ever met. It’s tough to do what he did as an adult, but even tough as a teenager.

So on this issue, I say the current federal government is on the right side of history.

Alistair Waters is the assistant editor of the Capital News.

 

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