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Toby’s Law Passes!

14 Jun

It was a historic day for Ontario.

Around noon on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, Queen’s Park unanimously voted in favor of amendments to the Ontario Human Rights code that would protect the rights of transgendered people in the province.

After four failed attempts in the last six years to make similar amendments, NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo was finally successful with the help of PC MPP Christine Elliott and Liberal MPP Yasir Naqvi. Anyone who follows our provincial politics (or any politics at all, for that matter) knows that it’s a rare occurrence that all three parties work amicably together and even more rare that an amendment of such a magnitude is passed unanimously. Clearly, this was an important issue to all MPPs, as it should be, and our response is: it’s about motherfucking time.

Cheri DiNovo and a dog. Like a bawse.

The transgender community has been struggling with inequality, having a hard time finding jobs, rental housing, and sometimes even health services. That’s right – health services. You know there’s something wrong when someone in our country is having a hard time finding health services.

Prior to the vote, the Ontario Human Rights code guarded against prejudice for “race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability.” We are proud to say that it now includes “gender identity” and “gender expression”.

Ontario is the first Canadian province to recognize gender identity in its human rights legislation. Today I can honestly say that I’m proud to be an Ontarian. Well done, government, well done.

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