Guest Post: Happy anniversary, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms!

(The following comes courtesy of Teacher Trainer Student Guy at anthrotecture, originally published on Tuesday, April 17, 2012)

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, part of the Constitution of Canada. [The Charter affirms equality rights under Section 15, however this section did not come into effect until 1985, so happy 27th anniversary, Section 15!]

Section 15 (1) states that “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination ….” However, the notion that every individual is equal is still being worked out. While cases such as Egan v. Canada (1995) helped established sexual orientation as analogous grounds for protection from discrimination, no such clarification yet exists for trans Canadians.

The La Forest Report –written in 2000 under the authority of the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada–affirmed that trans Canadians “are protected from discrimination on the ground of sex or the combined grounds of sex and disability” but also noted that transgender issues “remain invisible” and thus recommended the explicit inclusion of the phrase “gender identity” in the Canadian Human Rights Act.

To date, this recommendation has not been adopted.

(Original Post)

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