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Current Page: Politics | Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Here's a Look at Gov't Efforts to Advance Transgender Identity

Here's a Look at Gov't Efforts to Advance Transgender Identity

However, in response to HB 2's passage, several major businesses either boycotted North Carolina or threatened to do so. Eventually, Charlotte dropped its ordinance and North Carolina repealed the law.

In May, Illinois' Department of Children and Family Services released state standards that mandated that anyone involved with DCFS' LGBT youth must undergo "mandatory training in LGBTQ competency" and that staff "must complete additional, mandatory standalone LGBTQ training at least once per year."

In July 2016, Massachusetts passed an LGBT public accommodation law that critics argued would force churches to embrace transgenderism.

In response, a ballot initiative was launched and got enough signatures so that the law in question will be put to a referendum vote in November 2018.

Canada's New Anti-Discrimination Law

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacts as he and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau (L) walk in the Vancouver Pride Parade in Vancouver, British Columbia, July 31, 2016. | (Photo: Reuters/Ben Nelms)

This trend of advancing guidance on laws meant to advance rights for transgender persons is not excluded to the United States.

In June, Canada's legislature overwhelmingly passed Bill C-16, a measure that adds "gender identity and expression" to the nation's federal anti-discrimination law.

Amanda Ryan of Trans Equality Canada told CP that the new law was "long overdue" and provides "a foundation for trans people to educate and bring further understanding of the Trans Community to the public."

"Over the years there was a distinct change in attitudes to trans people. The detractors of the bill used arguments that proved false or discriminatory. Their numbers are getting smaller and smaller as people learn more about the trans community," said Ryan.

Some have expressed concern over how the new law would impact institutions, especially religious ones, that may object to transgender identity.

In a statement emailed to CP, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada explained that since provinces have their own codes on human rights, it "will have little impact on religious organizations."

Nevertheless, the EFC noted that there were some concerns over "how the inclusion of gender identity and gender expression in human rights codes will impact those who disagree with the underlying gender ideologies that the phrases 'gender identity and expression' entail."

"Will responding to those experiencing gender dysphoria with compassion while also maintaining that biological sex is the prime determinant of gender identity violate human rights codes?" added the EFC.

"Will restricting the use of washrooms, change rooms, or dormitories to people of the same biological sex be a violation of human rights codes? Will religious organizations be able to minister to those experiencing gender dysphoria while maintaining their religious beliefs about sex and gender?"

When asked about the rights of those who may object to some of the parameters of the new federal law, Ryan of Trans Equality Canada replied that "there are no rational objections to trans people."

"From a religious perspective I don't understand how any group of Christians could discriminate or even actively attack another group of Christians. That is not Christian teachings. We are all God's Children," said Ryan.

"I don't believe that God wants us to hurt others. I will take my chances at the Pearly Gates based on being a good Christian who happens to be trans versus a 'good Christian' who has actively tried to harm other Christians."

As will be documented in the next entry in this series, many of these various efforts made by governments and private enterprise do not go unchallenged.

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