Silence The Canada Jokes: PM Justin Trudeau Gets Progressive For Pride
In the midst of the US making a mess out of the issue of trans people and public restrooms, Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is making waves for the LGBT community.
On June 1st, Trudeau became the first prime minister to raise the Pride Flag from Parliament Hill, marking the start of Canada’s first Pride Month. In fall 2015 he launched his election campaign at Vancouver’s pride parade and plans on being the first PM to attend this year’s in Toronto.
From the beginning of his appointed leadership last year, Trudeau has made huge strides towards obtaining equality. He’s championing equal rights for all Canadians; in mid-May he promised full protection for transgender rights in a bill he tabled on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. He also reportedly wants to include “gender identity as a prohibited ground for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and to the list of distinguishing characteristics of ‘identifiable group.’”
Today, we’ve tabled a bill to protect Canadians from being discriminated against based on gender identity or gender expression. #FreeToBeMe
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 17, 2016
Canadian government has been incredibly accepting of the progress Trudeau has been attempting to make in the past year: multiple members of Parliament joined him at the flag rising. Even conservatives are onboard. When asked about the amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act, Conservative MP David Tilson said”I voted against it last time, but I’ve changed my mind. I’m going to vote for it. It’s obviously an issue that takes awhile for some of us to get used to. So these people have rights and we should give them to them.” And the country just keeps taking positive steps; the New Brunswick government has recently agreed to cover gender confirming surgery through Medicare. So, what’s good America?
While President Obama has pushed for progressive directives, other states have followed North Carolina, which notoriously passed an anti-trans bathroom law, HB2, prohibiting trans people from entering public restrooms and banning cities from passing anti-discrimination laws to protect the LGBT community. The state even filed suit against the federal government in support of the law. North Carolina is loosing federal and private funding big time, but people are still supporting the law that is costing them $4.9 billion. Clueless’s sadly relevant ’90s star, Stacey Dash, was quoted on Entertainment Tonight saying:
“It’s tyranny by the minority. Why do I have to suffer because you can’t decide what you wanna be that day? OK, then go in the bushes…I’m not gonna put my child’s life at risk because you want to change a law. So that you can be comfortable with your beliefs — which means I have to change my beliefs.”
So, in short, between the rise of Ivanka’s dad and this absurd argument about where people can dispose of their bodily fluids, America is really falling behind Canada. The group of new trans rights protections will strengthen anti-discrimination and hate speech laws against transpeople. So, sorry Ms. Dash; you’ll need to pipe it down if Canada’s positive example becomes the norm.
You can check out the many LGBT events happening in Canada here. Pride Month is all June, but the Pride Festival is from June 24- July 3.
Lead image by Gabriella Cossens. Additional image via the Associated Press.
Stay tuned to Milk for more on transgender rights.