An open letter to Canadian Senators from the Hands Across the Aisle Coalition regarding Bill C-16 and the dangers it poses to the female sex.
Problems with amending the Canadian Human Rights Act
Should Bill C-16 become law, men who identify with various gender identities, especially those who say they are women, would gain access to employment, services, facilities and accommodation intended solely for females purely due to the judgment of a single individual in a single instance, probably the manager. Female service users would have no say in the matter. This is because the precise wording of Sections 15(1)(a) and 15(1)(g) of the Canadian Human Rights Act setting out the conditions under which discrimination in favour of a particular class is permitted.
This is especially troubling given that the CHRA stipulates that it is the prerogative of the Governor in Council, in practice elected politicians of the government of the day who are members of the Privy Council, to make regulations prescribing standards for assessing these conditions. Given that every political party in Canada has taken on board the ideology of gender identity/expression, such a situation bodes ill for women and girls in the long term.
We want you to make the case for strengthening the Canadian Human Rights Act so that maintenance of single-sex spaces run for women free of male intrusion is secured.
The common use of ‘gender’ to refer to ‘sex’ in Canadian legislation and official statistics means that confusion between ‘gender’ and ‘gender identity/expression’ will inevitably ensue if Bill C-16 is passed. We want you to remind the Senate Committee that sex is a protected class in the CHRA. In order to safeguard sex as a protected class, and to ensure correct data is collected by federal agencies, all relevant Canadian federal legislation would need to be amended accordingly. In particular legislation setting out official data requirements for a person’s gender, age, etc. should be amended so that it is information about a person’s sex (and also the option of gender identity/expression) that is required.
Problems with amending the Canadian Criminal Code
Whilst deploring all violence and physical and sexual assault against people of any background, identity or expression, we are very concerned about the proposed amendment to Subsection 318(4)(b) of the Canadian Criminal Code, which provides an extended definition of genocide as ‘deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction’, following the United Nations Convention for the Prevention and Punishment for the Crime of Genocide. There is good reason to believe that this statement could easily be manipulated to mean the very opposite of what it means. It was not so long ago that transgender (formerly ‘transsexual’) activists campaigned for the right to ‘change sex’ hormonally and surgically and for this to be the condition for legal recognition of membership in their chosen gender. However since the Yogyakarta Principles were published in 2007 transgender activists across many countries have increasingly argued that medical gender reassignment should not be necessary to gain the legal right to recognition as a member of a gender other than one’s sex. They argue that the legal requirement for medical reassignment in many countries amounts to ‘forced sterilization’, giving the misleading impression that such a requirement is primarily aimed at preventing transgender people from having biological children. It would only be a step from this to claim that disagreeing with laws allowing gender reassignment and recognition on purely legal grounds (such as most Canadian provinces and territories have recently passed) would amount to “advocating genocide” and “Hate Propaganda”.
Related to this is the increasingly common reference to gender reassignment surgery as ‘gender confirmation surgery’. Thus it would be perfectly possible for some transgender activists to make the claim that for someone to advocate, teach and practice only psychotherapy which helps clients suffering from problems with gender identity to live in harmony with their sex, and thereby to refuse absolutely to advocate for medical gender reassignment, would also amount to ‘advocating genocide’ as it would go against the goal of ‘gender confirmation’.
We are also very concerned that a person convicted of an offence of ‘Hate Propaganda’ under the Canadian Criminal Code may be ordered to forfeit ‘anything by means of which in relation to which the offence was committed’. Given the possibility of therapy for gender dysphoria and more broadly trans-critical and gender-critical views being treated as ‘genocide’, we foresee the possibility that academic and social research literature, media publications and social media content might be destroyed at the order of Canadian judges. (Psychiatric and psychological literature on these matters goes back over a hundred years in several languages.) Already Canada has seen the disgraceful sacking of Dr. Kenneth J. Zucker, the pre-eminent expert on therapeutic treatment of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents, on the basis of false allegations by transgender activists, and the transformation of the Gender Clinic in Toronto to be a bastion of transgender activism. Transgender activists also recently attacked the Women’s Library in Vancouver, because it contains trans-critical academic literature. Will you stand to protect academic and professional freedom and free speech on all matters concerning gender? If Bill C-16 is not amended, Canadian higher education will suffer and it may lose long-term international respect and confidence.
Canadian Politicians and transgender activists must provide clear examples of what would count as ‘genocide’ under Subsection 318(4)(b), and specifically whether this would include the definitions given above. If they cannot or will not do that, Senators must reject the the amendment to the Canadian Criminal Code in Bill C-16 outright.
By contrast, we wish to draw your attention to the fact that the same Subsection of the Canadian Criminal Code could be used to prosecute transgender activists and those healthcare professionals who support and advocate medical gender reassignment for children and adolescents, given that the aim of medical gender reassignment is to mutilate the sexed body and refashion it for the purpose of ‘gender confirmation’. When such a practice is targeted at minors, be it by healthcare professionals, social services, educationalists, media pundits, politicians, lawyers or even parents, they can be argued to be based on bias, prejudice or hatred against children and young people who are ‘gender nonconforming’ or fall outside accepted sex stereotypes in appearance or demeanour. They may also effectively be ways of colluding with more hidden abuse which has helped produce such a self-hating frame of mind in children and adolescents. These practices constitute a form of eugenics and when they cause sterilisation they involve the ‘genocide’ of gender-nonconforming children and young people. Yet if Bill C-16 passes making these arguments in Canada will become hate speech and Hate Propaganda. You have a moral duty to speak up on this matter. This debate about Bill C-16 is the last chance for Canadian politicians and ordinary people to make these arguments before they are considered to be ‘hate speech’.
Finally, Bill C-16 has international implications which need to be raised in the Senate Committee. We have already mentioned the damage to higher education. All dual nationals, foreign nationals and people on short-term work permits and tourist visas in Canada would be affected by this legislation. Should they be negatively affected by the unforeseen negative consequences of Bill C-16, they could have recourse to the law in a manner that would be of detriment to the reputation of Canada as a country.
Thank you for your consideration.
The Hands Across the Aisle Coalition
The Hands Across the Aisle coalition unites over 200 women including mothers, conservative Christians, lesbians, bi-sexuals and feminists who support biological sex-based rights. We believe laws and policies that redefine sex as gender identity are regressive and erase the opportunities and protections that women have long fought for. Biology, not bigotry.
© Hands Across the Aisle Coalition