A bill to protect people of the transgender community against violence passed through the House of Commons in Canada on March 20. The bill, which would make violence against transgender people a hate crime, passed with a vote of 149-137 with the support of approximately 15 Conservatives.
The bill needs to pass through the Senate before it can be finalized. However, the Senate does not have any members of the New Democratic Party (NDP), who are the backers of the bill, making it unclear if it will pass.
Still, parties in opposition of the NDP voted unanimously in favor of the bill to pass at the House of Commons vote, so hope remains.
If the bill passes, transgender individuals will be protected under the Canadian Human Rights Act. The NDP Member of Parliament, Randall Garrison, said that the bill will, “guarantee the same rights and protections…that all of us enjoy” in his pitch to urge Senate to pass the bill, reported Canada.com.
“Today’s vote represents a significant step toward recognizing and affirming the equality rights of trans and gender variant people in Canada” Executive Director of Egale Canada, Canada’s LGBT humans rights organization, Helen Kennedy, said in a press release sent to 429Magazine.
She continued, “this is a huge step forward, and the onus now falls to the Senate to ensure that we as a country continue to move forward in our commitment to human rights. The Senate must take all measures necessary to ensue swift passage of this vital piece of legislation.”