With the federal government hoping to pass legislation guaranteeing legal and human rights protection to transgender people, a new opinion poll appears to show the public firmly on their side.
Eighty-four per cent of people surveyed by the Angus Reid Institute said they would support adding gender identity as a prohibited ground for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act — one of several questions in a poll on transgender issues where a firm majority said Canadians should "accept, accommodate, and move on."
The poll "paints a picture of an accommodating, tolerant society – one that views increasing acceptance of transgender people as a sign of social progress," said the institute in a statement.
At the same time, 70 per cent of survey takers agreed with the statement "Society is too fixated on issues related to transgender people."
However, 70 per cent of Canadians also said that society adopting a more fluid concept of gender would be a good thing, and 59 per cent of people said that identification cards should either include a third option to indicate gender, or not include gender at all.
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When it came to the debate over washrooms in elementary schools, perhaps the mostly visible debate on transgender rights in recent years, Canadians also expressed support.
Asked about a trans girl or trans boy using the washroom that corresponded with their gender identity, approximately 67 per cent said it was acceptable.
The federal government introduced Bill C-16 in May, which would ensure legal and human rights protection to transgender people across Canada, but it has not been passed yet.
The online survey, conducted by the Angus Reid Institute from July 26 to August 2, was completed by a randomized sample of 1,416 Canadian adults.