Here we go again with the Bathroom Bill nonsense. For my readers in the US, New Zealand and elsewhere, the Canadian government is considering passing Bill C-279 which will add discrimination protection based on gender identity and gender expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act. It seems that every time a government tries to add this to their human rights code this subject pops up like the head of a very ugly snake. This time it’s Member of Parliament Rob Anders in the news acting the fool.
What is Rob Anders’ complaint? He has drafted a petition which states the following:
That Bill C-279, also known as the “Bathroom Bill”, is a Private Members Bill sponsored by B.C. NDP MP Randall Garrison and its goal is to give transgendered men access to women’s public washroom facilities.
First of all it’s not also known as the Bathroom Bill except in the limited minds of bigots. It’s formal title is An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression). If you read the bill I challenge you to find the words bathroom or washroom anywhere. It’s not really a long read. His use of the term transgendered men when he’s really talking about transgendered women is another indication of his bigotry.
The next paragraph reads:
And that it is the duty of the House of Commons to protect and safeguard our children from any exposure and harm that will come from giving a man access to women’s public washroom facilities.
Here’s the funny part, he keeps going on about the women’s public washroom so I’m assuming that he means for transgender women to use the men’s room. Don’t small boys use the men’s room? Okay, not only is he a bigot he’s not very bright. Another point is that he’s confusing transgender people with pedophiles.
Before I go any further, what does the bill actually provide protections for? The Canadian Human Rights Act paragraph 5 states:
It is a discriminatory practice in the provision of goods, services, facilities or accommodation customarily available to the general public: (a) to deny, or to deny access to, any such good, service, facility or accommodation to any individual; or (b) to differentiate adversely in relation to any individual, on a prohibited ground of discrimination.
It goes on in paragraphs 6 and onward to include further restrictions on discrimination for provision of commercial premises or residential accommodation, employment, etc. In other words it provides for protection from discrimination for a wide range of things that are very important to live comfortably in Canada. If you read the Act you’ll see bathrooms or washrooms are not listed anywhere but are covered by facilities and accommodations.
I can’t stress strongly enough that the use of public washrooms is such a minuscule aspect of this bill. There are far more important things to consider than where a person can pee. Here’s a news flash – transgender women have been using the women’s washroom for a long time and this bill won’t change this in any way.
I really wish these fools would think. Please, go to the nearest mall and look at the washrooms. Are there guards there monitoring who uses them? Are there locks on the doors? Is there any way to stop anyone from entering either of these rooms? The answer is no to all those questions. They might get harassed by the staff at a restaurant or bar as has been shown in news stories from the UK and US.
Then there are change rooms. It’s very unlikely but let’s say transgender woman goes into a change room and starts waving her parts around. This is against the law and no human rights provisions will protect them from prosecution. They can still be charged with Indecent Acts, paragraph 173, of the Criminal Code of Canada. If the transgender person goes into the change room for the sole purpose of getting an eyeful they will be asked to leave. Voyeurism, in itself, isn’t a crime in Canada but if they are in a change room for any other purpose than changing you can be sure they’ll be guided to the door.
Another thing I have to stress is none of this applies to transsexuals as they are protected against discrimination on the grounds of sex. Well, a pre-op transsexual women still has to be very careful not to expose her parts anywhere, not that she’d want to, but she can still use the public washrooms and change rooms. A post-op woman is legally female in Canada.
Relating to the washroom thing is a story about the Toronto District School Board. They have agreed that transgendered kids can use whichever school washroom they wish as long as it corresponds to their gender identity. Yay! I love it when a group of adults act grown up. Too bad they all didn’t.