Transgender Rights Bill Passes Canadian House Of Commons

Transgender Rights Bill Passes House Of CommonsReport from the Huffington Post

OTTAWA – A bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against transgender Canadians was approved by the House of Commons on Wednesday.

The Opposition private member’s legislation passed by a vote of 149-137, with the crucial support of 16 Conservatives, including four cabinet ministers.

It was one of the first tests of the Conservative caucus’ resolve on lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) rights in Canada at a time when Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has been mounting a strong defence of such rights abroad.

Baird, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt and Heritage Minister James Moore were among the Conservatives who supported the bill. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, most of his front bench and the vast majority of his backbenchers opposed it.

Opposition parties were united in their support for the bill, sponsored by New Democrat Randall Garrison.

MPs are generally free to vote as they see fit on private members’ bills.

“Today, New Democrats are proud to have contributed to ensuring equal protection under the law from discrimination and hatred based on gender identity,” Garrison said in a statement after the vote. Continue Reading

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