Canada's Liberal Party government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced a bill that would ban transgender discrimination, including both gender identity and gender expression, with up to two years in prison for violators.
The bill seeks to amend the Canadian Criminal Code to expand existing "hate speech" prohibitions to include any public speech or communication that "promotes hatred" on the basis of "gender identity" or "gender expression," and also the Canadian Human Rights Act, to cover transgender people.
"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 speech, announcing the bill on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on May 17. "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."
He added: "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."
In July, Prime Minister Trudeau plans to march in the Toronto Gay Pride parade.
"This enactment amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination," the bill's summary reads. "The enactment also amends the Criminal Code to extend the protection against hate propaganda set out in that Act to any section of the public that is distinguished by gender identity or expression and to clearly set out that evidence that an offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on gender identity or expression constitutes an aggravating circumstance that a court must take into consideration when it imposes a sentence."
No word on whether or not the suggestion that trans-gender might be a mental illness is "hate speech", but I rather expect it will be. If you see this blog suddenly vanish from the internet, this will be the reason why.