A rally is about to get underway in Victoria calling for equal protection for transgender British Columbians.
NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert is set to introduce legislation that would add explicit protection for transgender people to the BC Human Rights Code, to protect them against discrimination.
The bill would protect people from being discriminated against on grounds of gender identity and gender expression. Eight provinces and territories already have similar legislation.
However, this will be the fourth time Chandra Herbert has introduced this bill in the legislature in the last five years. He’s disappointed the governing Liberals haven’t allowed it to come forward for a vote.
“It’s important that if someone is facing violence or discrimination for who they are, that they see explicit protection in the human rights code,” he said.
“I’m a fighter so I keep pushing until we get change…for whatever reason, Christy Clark and the BC Liberals are opposed to explicitly protecting transgender people’s human rights.”
Chandra Herbert believes the Liberals are split on the issue.
“There are some members of the BC Liberal Party who are opposed…because specifically they don’t believe transgender people exist. That being said, I know there are a number of Liberal MLAs who support my bill, they’ve come to me privately and said this bill should be passed,” he said.
“If Christy Clark actually let the bill come to a vote, I think we could see it passed, if she actually allowed her MLAs to vote their will.”
Herbert’s bill comes two days after a petition with over 1,000 signatures was delivered to Attorney General Suzanne Anton asking for action.