Human Resources Legislative Update
Bill Adds Gender Identity, Gender Expression to Human Rights Code
Date: June 13, 2012
On June 13, 2012, a Private Member Bill with three-party support passed at Third Reading, as amended by the Standing Committee on Social Policy.
Bill 33, Toby’s Act (Right to be Free from Discrimination and Harassment Because of Gender Identity or Gender Expression), 2012 amends the Human Rights Code to specify that every person has a right to equal treatment without discrimination because of gender identity or gender expression with respect to:
- services, goods and facilities (s. 1);
- accommodation (ss. 2(1));
- contracting (s. 3);
- employment (ss. 5(1)); and
- membership in a trade union, trade or occupational association or self-governing profession (s. 6).
The Bill also amends the Code to specify that every person has a right to be free from harassment because of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression with respect to accommodation (ss. 2(2) and 7(1)) and employment (ss. 5(2) and 7(2)).
The terms “gender identity” and “gender expression” are not defined in the legislation, however the debates suggest that the amendments are intended to provide trans (i.e. transgender and transsexual) persons with explicit protection under the Code.
The Bill will come into force on Royal Assent.