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How the Ontario Human Rights Commission Helped Gender Ideology Take Over Canada
The document that set the stage
Canada’s gender troubles didn’t begin with Bill C-16 in 2017. The language and ideas behind that disastrous bill were brewing at the provincial level for some years before. In fact, it was the Ontario Human Rights Commission that truly set the stage for gender ideology to infiltrate Canadian institutions with a 2014 report titled, Policy on Preventing Discrimination Because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression.
But let’s back up a little.
The term “gender identity” first appeared in Canadian human rights codes in 2002, when it was introduced in the Northwest Territories as a prohibited ground for discrimination. A decade later, “gender identity” was also added to the Human Rights Code in Manitoba, and “gender identity” and “gender expression” were added to the codes of Nova Scotia and Ontario.
However, these terms were not defined. Jurisdictions across Canada were beginning to include this very new, ideologically based terminology in the human rights codes that could seriously impact the lives of everyday citizens who might be accused of running afoul of them and nobody knew what they actually meant.
So, in 2014, the Ontario Human Rights Commission released a policy where it sought to come to a definition of these terms and lay out how human rights protections for “gender identity” and “gender expression” were meant to be applied.
Note that the policy was intended to be educational rather than legally binding, but it still paved the way for the totalitarian takeover of these ideas all throughout the country.
The 62-page document begins with some definitions:
Gender identity is each person’s internal and individual experience of gender. It is their sense of being a woman, a man, both, neither, or anywhere along the gender spectrum. A person’s gender identity may be the same as or different from their birth-assigned sex. Gender identity is fundamentally different from a person’s sexual orientation.
Gender expression is how a person publicly presents their gender. This can include behaviour and outward appearance such as dress, hair, make-up, body language and voice. A person’s chosen name and pronoun are also common ways of expressing gender.
Trans or transgender is an umbrella term referring to people with diverse gender identities and expressions that differ from stereotypical gender norms. It includes but is not limited to people who identify as transgender, trans woman (male-to-female), trans man (female-to-male), transsexual, cross-dresser, gender non-conforming, gender variant or gender queer.
None of these terms make any sense and no sane society should be basing human rights legislation on them. “Gender identity” is nothing but inner whims and fundamental confusion about what it is to be a man or a woman, “gender expression” is mere fashion choices, and “trans” is a category so broad and meaningless that it includes cross-dressing—a fetishistic activity. Even simple “gender non-conformity” is considered trans.
Shortly thereafter we are informed that:
Everyone has the right to define their own gender identity. Trans people should be recognized and treated as the gender they live in, whether or not they have undergone surgery, or their identity documents are up to date.
The duty to accommodate the needs of trans people is a shared responsibility.
The document goes on to lay out a myriad of ways that trans-identified people should be accommodated throughout society on the basis of these two protected categories and, by and large, the guidance is to give them exactly what they want.
“For legal and social purposes,” reads section 6.3, “a person whose gender identity is different from their birth-assigned sex should be treated according to their lived gender identity.”
Not only must the law uphold the lie that someone is the opposite sex, but we are, apparently, beholden to treat them as such in social situations as well.
In section 7.6, the document gives the example of a “trans man” who wants to switch from the women’s to the men’s team in a recreational hockey league. The proper way to deal with this, according to the Commission, is for the league to change its policy and permit players to join the team that matches their lived “gender identity.”
(The choice to not make the example about a “trans woman” was certainly a deliberate one.)
But, don’t worry, the policy also deals with the situation of men not wanting to use their own spaces, pretending that these men are far more reasonable than they typically are in reality:
Example: A fitness club member is in the process of transitioning to identifying publicly as a woman. She no longer feels it’s appropriate or safe to use the men’s change room but is not yet comfortable using the women’s change room. The club manager explores interim solutions with her, such as a privacy curtain or partition in the women’s or men’s shower and change areas, or access to private staff space.
A private space or partition would never satisfy these men. They would cry discrimination in such a situation and demand full and unbridled access to the women’s change room instead, on threat of filing a human rights complaint.
The policy does include a small section on “balancing competing rights” where it gives a bit of lip service to the fact that, sometimes, provisions in the code may be at odds. It gives the example of the Vancouver Rape Relief situation:
Example: In a case that went to the British Columbia Court of Appeal, the Vancouver Rape Relief Society decided not to train a trans woman as a volunteer because she had lived part of her life as a man. They argued the restriction was a legitimate requirement for the position because they provide services specifically to women who have experienced violence from men. The Court discussed the impact on both sides (the volunteer and the clients) and found that while the organization had appeared to discriminate against the trans woman, an exemption in the BC Human Rights Code, which is designed to address competing rights, protected the organization from liability in this situation.
Note that this occurred in 2005, before British Columbia included “gender identity” and “gender expression” into its own Human Rights Code. It is incredibly disingenuous for the commission to include this as an example, and I have serious doubts about whether the decision would be the same today. In fact, I am certain that Vancouver Rape Relief would lose.
British Columbia amended its code in 2016 and, by 2017, every single Canadian jurisdiction, including the federal government and all of the provinces and territories, had done the same.
These jurisdictions have also adopted policies that mirror the language and guidance initially set forth in Ontario.
Canada’s quasi-judicial human rights tribunals are contentious enough in the first place, with critics arguing that they are biased, that they do not offer respondents due process, that their interpretations of law are too broad or inconsistent, and that they have too much power.
These are valid and important concerns only highlighted by throwing “gender identity” and “gender expression” into the mix. Canada has protected, with human rights law, any man’s desire to access spaces and services for women. The whole system is now complicit in actual human rights abuses, only it is taking the side of the perpetrator against the victims.
It would be funny if it wasn’t quite so terrifying.
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