February 3, 2011

Please help gather support for bill C-389

Please help gather support for bill C-389

The final debate on Bill C-389, Equal Protection for Trans People will take place in Ottawa next Monday, February 7 and the vote will likely be as soon as Wednesday, February 9.

The vote will be very close and every call you send and each email you can send will definitely help. (All MP email addresses are available at www.labourcouncil.ca/tools)

We have waited long enough for equal protection in law to be extended to trans communities. Too many of us forget that it was in fact the trans community which led our struggle against police repression in 1969 at Stonewall and gave birth to the early lesbian and gay rights movement. Canadian society as a whole benefited from the1969 decriminalization of sexual orientation and impressive legal advances since.

Surely, now is the time to put an end to the exclusion of gender identity and gender expression in Canada's key legal instruments.

Please write or call your Member of Parliament today to encourage them to support this Bill.
An election is imminent. There may be no other chance to address the exclusion of gender identity and gender expression from the Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code.

In particular, we need to target MPs who supported the bill on second reading (including 5 Conservative MPs) and those who were absent from that vote. To find out how MPs voted last time (Dec 7th) and who missed it, visit http://billc389.wordpress.com/english/frequently-asked-questions/how-did-my-mp-vote-on-dec-8/

How did all MPs vote on Dec. 8?

Results at a glance

The final result was 143 votes in favour and 131 votes against.

All NDP and Bloc Québécois MPs present voted in favour of the bill.

Most Liberals present voted in favour of the bill; three voted against.

Most Conservatives present voted against the bill; five voted in favour.

The three opposition party leaders voted in favour. Prime Minister Harper did not vote.

A note on abstentions: There is no way for an MP to officially be registered as abstaining on a bill, i.e. no way to distinguish between MPs choosing to abstain versus simply being absent (which may happen for many reasons: illness, duties in the riding, etc.; in the case of this vote, several MPs were at a climate change summit in Cancun, Mexico.)

However, immediately before the Dec. 7 vote on Bill C-389 took place, a Liberal bill concerning the census was voted on. We therefore note those MPs who voted on that bill, but chose not to vote on Bill C-389.

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