B.C. introduces bill to protect transgender people
'They have not felt protected,' says B.C.'s attorney general
The B.C. government has taken steps to protect transgender people.
After years of pressure from the transgender community, the province on Monday introduced a bill to add "gender identity and expression" to the Human Rights Code.
Dozens of transgender people and advocates came to Victoria to applaud the proposed change, including 13-year-old Tru Wilson.
Tru, born as a boy, gained prominence, when she fought the Ladner, B.C. Catholic school she attended so she could be treated as a girl. the gender she identifies with.
"Now it is crystal clear that we can't be discriminated against, and it's such a revolution for our community." Tru said.
Years-long lobby effort
NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, who has lobbied for years for greater legislative protection for transgender people, referenced a Gandhi quote to describe the struggle.
"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they attack you, and then you win," Chandra Herbert said.
The provincial government has, in the past, argued that the change wasn't needed. But Attorney General Suzanne Anton said transgender advocates changed her mind.
"They have not felt protected, and they feel like they need the written clarification of the law," Anton said.
If passed, the law would mean that employers can't use a person's gender to hire or fire an individual. MLAs were debating the bill Monday afternoon.
Seven other provinces also have language that explicitly protects against discrimination based on gender identity or expression.
With files from Richard Zussman