Vancouver Pride Society To Focus On Trans And Gender Identity Issues

Vancouver, B.C. – “Pride is a protest,” says VPS President Tim Richards, adding “Vancouver Pride started as a demand for our rights. Transgender and Gender-Variant members of our community still face daily discrimination, which will only be ingrained into Canadian Culture by the amendment to Bill C-279, a bill that was once seen as a substantial victory.”

On February 25th, unelected Senators passed an amendment to Federal Bill C-279, An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (Gender Identity), that undermines the spirit and intention of the bill.

“This bill was intended to protect Transgender and Gender-Variant people in Canada from violence and discrimination on the basis of their gender identities.” say VPS Vice-President Chrissy Taylor, adding “Members from all political stripes came together to pass Bill C-279 in support of a fairer, more equal Country and the Senate’s actions clearly undermine the authority of our elected Members of Parliament.”

VPS General Manager Ray Lam explains “Senators amended Bill C-279 to effectively criminalize the use of public restrooms for Transgender and Gender-Variant People in Canada, in flagrant opposition to the will of Parliament and the citizens that put those members there to maintain Canada’s reputation as a country that respects and values every Canadian.”

Richards says, “If the Bill C-279 is passed into law with the Senate’s amendment, Transgender and Gender-Variant Canadians would face the daily indignity of having to use facilities that correspond to the gender they are assigned at birth, regardless of their gender identity.”

“The Vancouver Pride Society believes in the importance of equal rights for Transgender and Gender-Variant people and must take a stand against this clear attack on the most basic rights of our community,” Taylor underlines.

 

When asked what people can do, Richards suggests “The community needs to mobilize and support the rights for Transgender and Gender-Variant people. A great way to do that is to write your Senators. Egale Canada has a great website (http://trans.egale.ca/) that can help people identify Senators in their province to ask them to support equal rights for all Canadians.”

In the coming weeks, the VPS will be announcing a parade theme and campaign to raise awareness and promote equal rights for Transgender and Gender-Variant people. Lam says, “Pride is a movement. This year, the VPS will ensure that everyone in the Parade understands why we march, and help our community understand how much further we have to go.”