Article Two: Question Two

by Ljones on March 17, 2017 - 1:55pm

In Canadian society there has been progress made when it comes to gender and identity but for a long time many did not recognize and still do not recognize someone's choice of their identity. But since the idea of gender expression for those who differentiate from social norms has faced a degree of ridicule there has been no protection for those who are say transgendered when it comes to facing degradation verbally.

 This is no longer the case though as Bill C-16 was put forth. This new bill is a step in the right direction when it comes to hate propaganda that is directed towards a specific gender identity or expression which is based in or motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on gender identity or expression. This offers a blanket protection making intolerance towards those who are transgendered a crime now which is a good thing since you should not be ridiculed for being who you really are. That being said are there any draw backs on bill c-16? The bill c-16's main idea is this enactment amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination. The enactment also amends the Criminal Code to extend the protection against hate propaganda set out in that Act to any section of the public that is distinguished by gender identity or expression and to clearly set out that evidence that an offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on gender identity or expression constitutes an aggravating circumstance that a court must take into consideration when it imposes a sentence.

 This is not a small piece of legislation being put forward as this bill would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act as well as the Criminal Code of Canada both of which are large cogs within our justice system. The issue in question that I have is that when it comes to gender identity and the biology of things people become very heated so the issue for me is when do people draw the line of a heated debate to people declaring a differentiation of views as hate speech. This may not be the case for most people but as someone who may spend a little too much time of YouTube and have seen the way some people  react to the idea that there are two genders and you fit into one of the two which goes against the current idea of gender fluidity it can become violent or may be construed as hate speech and for this is the issue is there needs to be addressed. If people that believe in something that differs from you or is considered upsetting  is it wrong? In order to grow and progress we have to have all sides heard otherwise we miss out on a large portion of ideas.  I agree that there needs to be legislation put in place that helps and protects but my issue is the modification to pre-existing pieces of the Canadian Human Rights Act particularly  section two which says and this is only a small part "to have their needs accommodated" but it does not just align with the gender identity or expression it includes race, ethnic origin, religion and such that was originally in the Canadian Human Rights Act but to me it seems we are coming to the point of whose needs come first in all of this since if we start accommodating everything that everyone wants our spectrum will grow to be so large anything goes or it will head in the opposite direction where we push for so much accommodation of some that we silence others and this ends up becoming an issue in freedom of speech when we are no longer allowed to think or talk about topics that may be sensitive, triggering or to some people hateful in nature.