by Patrick B. Craine
OTTAWA, Ontario, November 5, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A private members bill that would criminalize discrimination based on “gender identity” and “gender expression” sailed through a parliamentary committee this week with no amendments, leaving pro-family advocates deeply concerned that the bill will pass when it comes up for a vote perhaps as early as December.
Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, today called on all people of good will to alert their MPs to the grave concerns and “legal nightmares” at stake in this bill, warning, for example, that it will lead to male cross-dressers and drag queens having the legal right to use female bathrooms.
The private members bill, proposed by New Democrat MP Bill Siksay, passed in mere minutes at the Justice and Human Rights Committee on November 2nd, reports the homosexualist news site Xtra. The vote was 9-2, with Conservative MPs Brent Rathgeber and Stephen Woodworth opposing.
The committee, which held no hearings on the bill, apparently wanted to push it through to give it a chance at passing before an election, at which point it would die. Further, Xtra reports that this plan was backed by the Conservative government, even though they opposed the bill at second reading.
Xtra reports that the government asked NDP committee member Joe Comartin to move that all clauses be carried. Liberal justice critic Marlene Jennings said she expected Conservative committee member Bob Dechert to support the bill “given that he’s the parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice, and it was the government’s suggestion that a motion be put by Mr Comartin to deem the bill that all clauses been carried [sic], and I assumed then that he was favourable.”
At the same time, the Prime Minister's office told LifeSiteNews Friday that the committee's vote "does not denote our support for the Bill." "In fact the Justice Minister has stated in the House that Bill C-389 contains provisions which are unclear and unnecessary and that our government will not be supporting this legislation," said Sara MacIntyre, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's press secretary.
If passed, the bill will add “gender identity” and “gender expression” as prohibited grounds for discrimination to the Canada Human Rights Act and as identifiable groups in the Criminal Code’s hate crimes legislation.
Siksay, who serves as the NDP’s “LGBTT” critic, says the bill could come up for reporting, third reading, and a vote as early as December. It would then move to the Senate.
The committee’s decision is “great news,” said Siksay. “We are on track toward ensuring the full protection of transgender and transsexual Canadians under the law.”
This is Siskay’s third attempt to bring the bill, known as C-389, after it failed to make it to the House in 2006 and 2007. He introduced the current bill on May 15th, 2009 and it was sent to committee with the support of the House in June 2010.
The bill is being vociferously opposed by pro-family groups.
According to Alissa Golob, head of Campaign Life Coalition Youth, the move to recognize gender-confusion as a normal lifestyle choice is “not surprising” since we’ve already done so with homosexuality. “It’s just another attempt to normalize immorality,” she said. “What’s next? Polygamy? Pedophilia?”
Golob charged that there has been hardly any coverage of the bill in the media “because they have an agenda and will only promote whatever news they deem fit and not what is actually happening.”
“The government’s sole reason for existing is to serve the family, the building block of society,” she affirmed. “If laws are passed that are not in the family’s best interest, those members of parliament introducing these laws should be removed immediately and those bills automatically defeated. We need to stand up and elect people who will bring normalcy back to our society.”
Gwen Landolt, national vice president of the pro-family group REAL Women, said it’s “scary” that the bill has made it this far so easily. “The bill’s extremely dangerous,” she said. “It’s alright to be in favour of human rights, which we all support, but this is being in favour of a mental illness, and playing into it. It’s not good for individuals, let alone society.”
“It’s extremely dangerous for children to be taught that transgendered is equal to heterosexual and normal gender,” she continued, pointing out that the American College of Pediatricians warned this spring that sexual confusion should not be reinforced.
In their statement, the College explained that as children develop many will go through a temporary period of sexual confusion that they usually overcome. But if they are encouraged to self-identify as homosexual or “transgender,” “the confusion is reinforced and the child is conditioned for a life of unnecessary pain and suffering," they wrote.
“It would forever damage them,” said Landolt.
Hughes said that the bill “not only flies in the face of common sense, but is also potentially dangerous by creating the legitimized access that sexual predators often seek,” by opening the door to men using women’s bathrooms. “Imagine a young girl - your daughter or granddaughter - goes into a washroom and finds a man there. How is the young girl to determine whether or not the man in the bathroom is a ‘peeping tom,’ a rapist or a pedophile?”
Brian Rushfeldt, president of Canada Family Action, said the bill is “extremely dangerous” because it “basically reinforces the notion that gender can be anything you want. ... That I think is dangerous to developing youth. Then they have no standard by which to judge their behaviour.”
“If the House of Commons passes such an undefined, dangerous piece of legislation, my hope is that sober minds at the Senate will look at that and say we simply cannot have protection for every uncommon, unnatural sexual expression,” said Rushfeldt.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
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See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Transexual Protection Bill Passes Second Reading in Canadian Parliament
Canadian MP Tables Bill to Protect "Transgendered" People in Canadian Human Rights Act