MONTREAL — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced legislation Monday to protect transgender people from hate speech and discrimination, as debate rages in the United States over laws restricting their rights.
“Even today, despite all the obstacles we have overcome, the battles we have won, and the victories we have celebrated, we are still witnesses, and in some cases, victims of injustices,” Trudeau said in a speech at a Montreal event hosted by gay rights group Fondation Emergence.
“We must continue to demand true equality,” he said. “We must carry on the legacy of those who fought for justice by being bold and ambitious in our actions.”
The bill is to be officially unveiled by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould on Tuesday, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
It will add “gender identity” alongside race, religion, age, sex and sexual orientation as prohibited grounds for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and add transgender persons to a list of groups protected from hate-mongering under the Criminal Code, according to Wilson-Raybould’s mandate letter from the prime minister.
The Canadian parliament’s previous attempts to pass similar legislation failed. But this time, due to a Liberal majority in the House, the measures are expected to pass easily.
Trudeau’s father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was Canada’s justice minister when Ottawa introduced a Criminal Code amendment to decriminalize homosexuality. He famously commented at the time (two years before it became law): “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”
In July, Justin Trudeau will be the first sitting prime minister to participate in a gay pride parade, in Montreal.
Following his speech, Fondation Emergence honoured him with an award for his promotion of gay rights, including allowing sexually active gay men to donate blood, and pardoning gay men who were convicted of gross indecency before homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969.
South of the border, meanwhile, a debate on equal rights in the United States has been raging over a flurry of initiatives targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities since a historic Supreme Court decision last year legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
Last week, the US federal government and North Carolina’s governor launched dueling lawsuits over a state law restricting transgender Americans’ use of public restrooms.
PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team
KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.
PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.
Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.