Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a wonderful announcement this week. While our country is passing laws to police public bathrooms, Canada is looking at a bill to ban all transgender discrimination.
Trudeau had this to say about it at an event in Montreal held by a gay rights group, Foundation Emergence:
“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…We must carry on the legacy of those who fought for justice by being bold and ambitious in our actions, and we must work diligently to close the gap between our principles and our reality.”
Here is one of his tweets on the subject:
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 16, 2016
The bill would add “gender identity” to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination. The list already includes religion, age, sex, and sexual orientation.
His father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, was justice minister when Canada introduced the bill to add lesbian and gay people to the list of groups that cannot be discriminated against. He famously said:
“There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”
Here in the United States, we do have federal laws prohibiting discrimination against people for gender identity and sexual orientation. However, many employers find their way around that. It’s really easy to do with “at will” employment because you don’t have to have a solid reason to fire someone.
One good example of discrimination in the US can be found in the story of Georgia Carter. This Virginia woman went to an interview at a KFC and was told she got the job and to attend training the next day. The manager called her an hour later and said he couldn’t hire her because she was transgender. She talked to someone at corporate, got a job, and got him fired.
I hope the US will follow Canada’s lead one day and get employers to stop the discrimination. I applaud Trudeau’s efforts.
This Canadian reporter had an interesting take on this: