British Columbia's Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon delivers the Throne Speech in the B.C. Legislature, in Victoria on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. JONATHAN HAYWARD / THE CANADIAN
VICTORIA — A new law to protect transgender rights in B.C.’s Human Rights Code passed into law Monday, despite opposition from at least one of the governing party’s own MLAs.
The legislation was fast-tracked through the house in one day, during a special summer session of the legislature.
Wow! An extraordinary session of the B.C. legislature! This must have been extremely important, a virtual emergency! Amazing! There are anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand transgendered people in B.C. liable to suffer anything from a physical beating to a minor slight.
Meanwhile, every fifth, or so, child in the province is being, has been, or will be sexually abused.
(1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys experience an unwanted sexual act.
Source: Child Sexual Abuse (The Canadian Badgley Royal Commission, Report on Sexual Offences Against Children and Youths), 1984. (pg. 175) - courtesy Little Warriors
There are nearly a million children in B.C. 20% of that is close to 200,000. Even if we used a very conservative number of 1 in 10 children, that amounts to nearly 100,000. The statistic of 1 in 10 represents children who have been subject to significant sexual abuse.
But that's not an emergency, like dissing a transgender. What an insane world we live in!
Laurie Throness, the Liberal MLA for Chilliwack-Hope, said his religious beliefs prevented him from supporting legislation to specifically enshrine protection for transgender people in the human rights law. He said he believes in a fixed-gender, which is decided at birth, and described the LGBTQ community as a powerful lobby group intolerant of himself and others who disagree that the law would add necessary protections.
Though its rare for a Liberal MLA to criticize his own government’s legislation, Throness did not go so far as to vote against the bill. Instead, he abstained from voting at all. The bill passed unanimously.
Attorney General Suzanne Anton said the legal change was necessary because many transgender people had clearly told government they did not feel the human rights code adequately protected them under the law.
LGBTQs have a loud voice and use it often. Children have no voice, and so get completely ignored while suffering exponentially more harm than transgenders.
Vancouver West End NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert said he was pleased that governing B.C. Liberal Party finally enacted the legal change after several years of not enacting his private members’ bills on the subject.