Posted on Jun. 15, 2017

    Canada Is Finally, Officially Getting Trans Rights

    It passed the Senate 67 to 11.

    After more than a decade of pressure from advocates, Canada's Senate has finally adopted a bill adding gender expression and identity to the country's human rights protections.

    Facebook: R.Boissonnault

    Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, passed a vote in the Senate with 67 in favour.

    It prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression, just as Canada's human rights code prohibits discrimination due to gender, sexual orientation, religion, and other factors.

    But getting here has been a process, to say the least.

    A similar bill was first introduced by the NDP in 2005. It was reintroduced in 2006, then again in 2009. Twice, bills to protect trans and nonbinary Canadians died in the Senate.

    We did it! #C16 adopted at 3rd Reading #SenateCa vote. It takes a village to change the world and by golly we will!

    One of the reasons was Conservative Senator Don Plett. He has repeatedly been accused of stalling these bills with amendments and arguments that many called offensive. He inspired #PlettPutMeHere, a social media movement that saw trans folks taking selfies in bathrooms that didn't correspond with their identity.

    Plett was one of 11 Senators who voted against C16.

    The Senate noted the passage with a rainbow-themed announcement on Twitter.

    Bill #C16 has been adopted in the Senate at third reading #SenCA #cdnpoli

    Though the NDP has been largely responsible for previous attempts, this represents a major win for Justin Trudeau's Liberal government and its Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 Issues, Randy Boissonnault.

    But mostly it's a huge win for the trans and nonbinary Canadians, and the people who have spent 12 years working to make this happen.

    #C16 has passed third reading in the Senate! We're ecstatic! Thank you, @SenateCA. #CdnPoli

    So it's time to celebrate.

    Really can't wait for #C16 to become law today, so trans folks will finally have human rights protections, no thank…

    And affirm that, in Canada, trans rights are human rights.

    Bill C16 finally passed the Senate, extending federal human rights protections to transgender people in Canada!…

    Happy Pride Month, Canada.

    Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

    Contact Lauren Strapagiel at

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