This will be just a quick posts with some links to further reading.
Recently, the groups The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) released a survey “Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey” about discrimination based on gender identity and expression in the United States. The Report abstract states:
Transgender and gender non-conforming people face rampant discrimination in every area of life: education, employment, family life, public accommodations, housing, health, police and jails, and ID documents…
Questioning Transphobia summarizes some of the findings:
- Respondents were four times more likely to live in extreme poverty, with incomes lower than $10,000
- Respondents were twice as likely to be unemployed
- One in four reported being fired for their gender identity or expression
- Half said they experienced harassment or other mistreatment in the workplace
- One in five said they experienced homelessness because of their gender identity or expression
- 19% said they had been refused a home or apartment
- 19% said they had been refused health care
- 31% reported harassment or bullying by teachers
- 41% reported attempting suicide, compared to 1.6% for the general population
Similar statistics about discrimination apply to Canadians.
Much of this discrimination, it’s worth noting, is entirely legal. Trans people are routinely left of out anti-discrimination laws that protect citizens from discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, nationality, etc.
In Canada, we have a chance to correct this problem. Bill C-389, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression), is up for a vote in the House of Commons. The last vote was really close, passing by only 12 votes (Yeas: 143; Nays 131).
Bill C-389 is coming up for a final vote this Wednesday, February 9th. This time opponents of the bill have organized a letter-writing campaign to petition MPs to vote against the bill.
If you want to support the bill to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression, there is an online letter writing campaign organized by the Public Service Alliance of Canada. If any readers are from Canada and wish to support the bill, please consider sending a letter to your MP from the link above.
I will include links for further reading below the fold.
Links for further reading:
Links from the Canadian Government on Bill C-389
The changes to the Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code if C-389 passes (underlined)
LEGISinfo, including speeches and text of the Bill.
The debate in the House from May 10, 2010; includes proponents’ and opponents’ views.
Links that support Bill C-389
Facebook page Equal Protection for Trans People
An article from The Globe and Mail in support of the Bill.
The Canadian Bar Association “Equality for All Regardless of Gender Identity and Gender Expression” [PDF]
EGALE Canada has an action item here.
TransGriot on the Bill.
The United Church on the Bill.
Links that oppose Bill C-389
The Dominion reports on worries that “[r]ather than serving as protection for oppressed people, the hate crimes portion of this law may expose our communities to more danger—from prejudiced institutions far more powerful and pervasive than individual bigots.”
Xtra reports on Conservative senator Nancy Ruth, who does not oppose the bill itself, but worries “… that other [cis] women are not included in Section 318(4) of the Criminal Code, and women have tried for decades – at least 20 or 30 years that I can remember – to get themselves into 318(4).”
An article from the Globe and Mail against the Bill.
Note: I do not endorse the views at the following links, which express transphobia. They have been labled rel=”nofollow”
LifeSiteNews who reduce the bill to “the bathroom bill.”
Catholic Insight who worry “That the recognition of “gender identity” and “gender expression” will dilute the categories of male and female into non-existence” and rather than ending discrimination it will promote “persecution and prosecution.”
REAL Women Canada who think “Transgendered [sic] and Transsexuals Have a Psychological Problem,” “Need Help” and worry about the school children who “will be taught in school that even “thinking” you are another gender is normal, acceptable and reasonable.”