Should transgender Canadians be protected by a new parliamentary bill?
Liberal MP Hedy Fry introduced it as Bill C-276 and NDP MP Randall Garrison brought it in as Bill C-279, both on June 2.
A section in recently instituted airline screening regulations appears to prohibit transgender people from boarding airplanes in Canada, an Ontario blogger has found.
The Identity Screening Regulations were introduced in July 2011 (PDF file). Blogger Christin Milloy from Mississauga, Ont., wrote this week about this unusual section:
5.2 (1) An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if ...
(c) the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents....
Milloy points out that changing one's designation of gender on a passport requires proof that gender reassignment surgery has taken place or is scheduled to take place within a year - but that not all transgender persons choose to have surgery. She also objected to the decision about an individual's gender being left up to an airport screener.
Transport Canada says its procedures to identify passengers apply "to all passengers, regardless of their culture, religion or sexual orientation." It also said that it was not aware of anyone being refused boarding because of the rule.
Since Milloy wrote the blog post, the story has been picked up by higher profile blogs and national media in Canada and the U.S. Thousands of people have left digital signatures on petitions to remove the section from the screening regulations.
Before last year's federal election, NDP MP Bill Siksay introduced a private member's bill - C-389, known as the trans rights bill - which would have made it illegal to discriminate against transgendered people. The bill passed the House of Commons but died in the Senate when the last election was called.
Such a law could strike down this section of the screening regulations if passed.
Should Parliament reintroduce the trans rights bill? Why or why not? Let us know what you think.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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