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OTTAWA (ChurchMilitant.com) - Canadians could soon potentially face jail time if found guilty of anti-transgender "hate speech."
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced last week the development of a bill seeking to penalize any form of transgender discrimination with up to two years in prison, adding to Canada's current ban on anti-gay "hate propaganda." The proposal, which seeks to reform the Canadian Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act, would extend civil rights protections to self-described transgender individuals in order to protect them from "hatred" on the basis of "gender expression" or "identity."
"As a society, we have taken many important steps toward recognizing and protecting the legal rights for the LGBTQ2 community, from enshrining equality rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the passage of the Civil Marriage Act," the prime minister stated in a speech May 17, speaking on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
Trudeau, son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, asserted in the realm of LGBT rights there "remains much to be done," maintaining that "[f]ar too many people still face harassment, discrimination and violence for being who they are." This, he concluded, "is unacceptable."
"Everyone deserves to live free of stigma, persecution and discrimination — no matter who they are or whom they love," he asserted. The stance falls in line with his party's position on the matter, which describes "'gender identity' ... distinct from the term 'sexual orientation'" as referencing a person's innate, deeply held psychological identification as a man, woman or another gender."
The new legislation mirrors previous bills that have failed to pass Parliament over the past few years, largely owing to resistance from Canada's Conservative Party. It is anticipated the current bill will pass, however, as Trudeau's government holds a majority within the Canadian House of Commons, and the Canadian senate is currently up for election.
Trudeau, a self-professed Catholic, has a history of ardently supporting so-called LGBT rights, including describing the legalization of gay "marriage" in Canada in 2005 as a "great day for freedom." Last year at Pride Toronto, the prime minister stated he was "committed to making sure that [the Canadian government is] defending trans rights fully and completely." Trudeau has additionally announced he plans on marching in the Toronto Gay Pride Parade in July.
In addition to his support for LGBT "rights," Trudeau has also expressed his unreserved support for unrestricted abortion up to the point of birth. Speaking of a push to eliminate pro-life members from his Liberal Party, Trudeau tweeted, "The days when old men get to decide what a woman does with her body are long gone. Times have changed for the better."
The Catholic Church has clearly maintained its position against the push for gender identity rights, with Pope Benedict XVI proclaiming in 2012 the "profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious."