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Alberta Is Making Discrimination Against Trans People Illegal

"No Albertan should be denied basic services for being true to themselves."

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Alberta's NDP government moved this week to ensure transgender, non-binary and gender variant communities are protected.

Jason Franson / The Canadian Press

Introduced by Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley on Thursday, the amendment to the province's Human Rights Act will add "gender identity" and "gender expression" to the list of protected classes.

Specifically, those words will be added to this passage:

WHEREAS it is recognized in Alberta as a fundamental principle and as a matter of public policy that all persons are equal in: dignity, rights and responsibilities without regard to race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation;

"No Albertan should be denied basic services for being true to themselves," Ganley said at the announcement, according to CBC.

The announcement comes just ahead of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual event to remember those who have been killed by anti-trans violence.

On Friday, Nov 20th the Transgender Pride Flag will be raised at #ableg for the first time in history. #abpoli

Friday also marked the first time the trans flag was raised outside of the Alberta legislative building in Edmonton.

If Bill 7 is passed, Alberta will be the eighth province to explicitly ensure the protection of non-cisgender residents in its human rights code.

History at the #ableg grounds today. The trans pride flag stands tall. @GlobalEdmonton #yeg

Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, and the Northwest Territories have also passed legislation officially acknowledging gender identity.

Lauren Strapagiel is Managing Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact Lauren Strapagiel at lauren.strapagiel@buzzfeed.com.

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