The Canadian Senate has passed Bill C-16, which prohibits discrimination against transgender Canadians and makes certain actions against them hate crimes.
The bill, which passed 67-11, expands on the Canadian Human Rights Act, amends the criminal code to protect against hate speech, and lets judges consider during sentencing if a crime was motivated by the perpetrator's hatred of the victim's gender identity.
"In Canada we celebrate inclusion and diversity, and all Canadians should feel safe to be themselves," Canadian Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould said in a statement Thursday, according to Global News. "Trans and gender diverse persons must be granted equal status in Canadian society, and this bill makes that status explicit in Canadian law."
Critics of the law worry that its prohibition on hate speech could be taken too far.
"[There's an argument] that transgender identity is too subjective a concept to be enshrined in law because it is defined as an individual's deeply felt internal experience of gender," conservative Sen. Grant Mitchell said in November 2016, according to The Daily Caller. "Yet we, of course, accept outright that no one can discriminate on the basis of religion, and that too is clearly a very deeply subjective and personal feeling."
University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson said in the Senate that, "Compelled speech has come to Canada," and "We will seriously regret this," according to the Daily Caller.
"[Ideologues are] using unsuspecting and sometimes complicit members of the so-called transgender community to push their ideological vanguard forward," he said in May, according to LifeSiteNews. "The very idea that calling someone a term that they didn't choose causes them such irreparable harm that legal remedies should be sought [is] an indication of just how deeply the culture of victimization has sunk into our society."
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