Quebec says it’s open to adjusting new bill denounced by LGBTQ2+ advocates

Click to play video: 'Growing opposition to Bill 2 by Quebec’s gender diverse individuals and families' Growing opposition to Bill 2 by Quebec’s gender diverse individuals and families
WATCH: A movement is growing against the CAQ government's new bill that seeks to reform family law in the province. It's being denounced as a huge step back for trans rights. Members of the LGBTQ2+ community are calling the bill regressive, invasive, even perverted. Global’s Dan Spector reports – Oct 26, 2021

One of the main reasons musician Kyng Rose moved to Montreal from their home country was the city’s reputation for embracing LGBTQ2 communities.

“I’m from France and in France, gay people can’t kiss in the street, otherwise you get assaulted,” said Rose, who has been in Montreal for 12 years.

“Here, I found out that I was trans and I started my transition.”

Now, however, Rose is feeling betrayed by their adopted province.

“Montreal is one of the places where you can be trans and you can live and you can succeed and you can have a good life. This bill kind of takes that away,” he explained.

Read more: Quebec tables Bill 2, ‘most regressive bill proposed on trans rights’: advocates

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Bill 2 was presented to the National Assembly last week by Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette. It’s a wide-ranging proposed reform to multiple aspects of Quebec family law. But there’s a particular part that has many up in arms.

The bill proposes to only allow transgender people who undergo gender-affirming surgery to request an official sex change on birth certificates and other documents.

“It’s pushing this idea that we need to publicly reveal what surgeries we’ve had or haven’t had. It’s really against the charter of rights,” said  LGBT+ Family Coalition director Mona Greenbaum.

Rose feels the bill will force trans people to out themselves against their will.

“It means that everywhere you go, even if you want to buy a pack of cigarettes, you have to disclose to people what’s in your pants. If you want to find a job, your boss has to know what’s in your pants,” they said.

Dozens of advocacy groups, artists and academics have been voicing their anger about the bill.

“People don’t understand just living our life what it’s like when as soon as people know you’re trans, how much abuse you’re confronted with. People just look at you like you’re basically just a freak,” said Rose.

Read more: Quebec tables Bill 2, ‘most regressive bill proposed on trans rights’: advocates

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Others are disappointed about the bill for what it doesn’t include.

Sabrina Leblond-Murphy is part of a three-parent family and wishes Quebec would recognize people in her situation.

“Eventually, it would be really wonderful if Quebec could follow the the example that’s being given in other provinces where more than two parents can be recognized on a child’s birth certificate,” she said.

A spokesperson for Jolin-Barrette, however, said there are no plans to include multi-parent families in the bill.

“According to the Consultation Committee of Family Rights, the concept of multi-parent families would respond mainly to the needs and expectations of the adults. The best interests of the child are what guided our decisions,” said Jolin-Barrette’s spokesperson, Elizabeth Gosselin.

In response to a question about the backlash from the trans community and its allies from Liberal MNA Jennifer Maccarone in question period, Jolin-Barrette said the government is open to making changes to the bill after consulting with different groups.

“We are sensitive to the concerns expressed and we will continue to listen,” he said in a lengthy Facebook post on Tuesday.

In the meantime, the movement against Bill 2 is mobilizing.

“There’s already some protests going on and there will be more,” said Greenbaum.

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Community members are planning petitions, writing letters to their MNAs and more. The bill will be subject to public consultation before it gets passed.

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