Mayor calls for stronger protections for Trans residents

July 15, 2015 | Pride and LGBTTQ Rights

Mayor Gregor Robertson is bringing a motion to City Council next week calling for action to support the rights, equality, and safety of Transgender residents – both in Canadian law and through the inclusiveness of all City programs and facilities.

The motion builds on the City of Vancouver’s dedicated work with the LGBTTQ community to end homophobia and transphobia in all of their forms, and recent leadership by the Vancouver Park Board and Vancouver Board of Education to make their facilities, operations and programs safe and inclusive spaces for Transgender and Gender-Variant Vancouverites.

“Vancouver is known throughout the world for our remarkable diversity, and for being a city that is made stronger and more vibrant by our commitment to equality, acceptance, and inclusion,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The LGBTTQ community has made hard-fought progress in recent years to secure equal rights, but there is still work to be done to guarantee that Transgender residents and all Canadians receive equal protection under the law. This motion works to ensure Trans residents can feel safe and supported, in Vancouver and across the country, and I hope all of Council will support it.”

Gender identity and expression continue to lack explicit protection under the British Columbia Human Rights Code, Canadian Human Rights Act, and hate crime provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada, which is why Mayor Robertson is calling on Council to support the passage of federal and provincial legislation ensuring all forms of gender identity and expression are equally protected.

Existing legislation can allow for legal discrimination against Transgender and Gender-variant Canadians, when many already face a much higher level of discrimination that affects their employment, housing, health, and access to community programs.

Mayor Robertson’s motion also asks City staff to consult with the LGBTQ2+ Advisory Committee and members of the Park Board’s Trans* and Gender-Variant Inclusion Steering Committee, and to report back on how the City of Vancouver can build on the work of the Park Board and Board of Education to make civic facilities, operations, and programs safe and inclusive spaces for Transgender and Gender-variant communities.