Transgender Rights and Misgendering as Human Rights Violation

Earlier this month, Bill C-16 passed through the House of Commons and is now before the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. The Bill would add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act and to the list of characteristics of identifiable groups protected from hate propaganda in the Criminal Code. Where a criminal offence is motivated by bias, prejudice or hate on the basis of gender identity or expression, it will constitute an aggravating circumstance for a court to consider when imposing a criminal sentence. Most provinces already include gender expression under human rights laws; the exceptions are New Brunswick, Nunavut and Yukon.