Janice Sherry

Environment, Labour and Justice and Attorney General Janice Sherry in the legislature (Province of P.E.I.)

The P.E.I. government has introduced legislation which would prohibit discrimination based on gender expression and gender identity.

The bill adds to a list that already prohibits discrimination based on age, race, religion, sexual orientation and a number of other factors.

Sarah Smith of the Abegweit Rainbow Collective told CBC News the change will provide protection and validation to a host of Islanders who don't quite match up with the strict definitions of male and female gender roles.

"Could be male, female, transgender, androgynous, two-spirited, queer, intersex, I mean anybody who honestly doesn't feel they are allotted into the complete category of a male or the complete category of a female," said Smith.

Smith said her group and others requested government make the addition, and the change has been a long time in coming.

The bill to amend the Human Rights Act was tabled Thursday by Justice Minister Janice Sherry, and has not yet been passed.

New Text for the Human Rights Act

"age, colour, creed, disability, ethnic or national origin, family status, gender expression, gender identity, marital status, political belief, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or source of income"