Justin Trudeau pledges to take a stand for transgender rights in Canada

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A week after the Obama administration said they'll sue the state of North Carolina over its transphobic HB2 "bathroom bill," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that he wants to expand the Canadian Human Rights Act to specifically include transgender people.

"I sincerely believe that in Canada we can and we should do more," Trudeau said on Monday.

The bill, which will be introduced in Canadian parliament today, also includes transgender people among the groups specifically protected under the country's hate speech laws.


Two previous bills that passed the House of Commons in 2011 and 2013 that tried to include trans rights in the Human Rights Act were the subjects of the same transphobic rhetoric that spurred North Carolina's bill, the CBC reports:

Both C-389 and C-279 were targeted by opponents as "bathroom bills," with some suggesting that extending human rights protections to transgender people would make it easier for predators to prey on children in public washrooms.

The 2013 bill ended up being amended to remove protections for trans people in public bathrooms specifically. But the elections last year meant that the bill was not ultimately passed by the senate and signed into law. Trudeau's bill has a better chance of making progress and being adopted without amendments, because Canada's parliament now has a Liberal majority.

Seven out of 13 Canadian provinces and territories already have specific transgender rights protections in place, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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