Protect Gender Identity & Gender Expression

UPDATE: On November 20, 2012, the Nova Scotia Government announced it would seek an amendment to add Gender Identity and Gender Expression to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act. Introduced as Bill 140 (Transgendered Persons Protection Act), the Bill received support from all parties and on December 6th, 2012, received Royal Assent, passing it into law.

Amend Nova Scotia’s Human Rights Act

On November 15th, 2012, NSRAP presented the Nova Scotian government with a petition of over 1700 signatures calling to include gender identity and gender expression in the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.

All Nova Scotians are equal and deserve to be protected equally.

Amending the Human Rights Act will ensure protection from discrimination and harassment in employment, housing, education, and more in communities across the province for those who are transgender, gender non-conforming or intersex.

Nova Scotia: the time for equality is now. Ontario, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories already protect gender identity and gender expression.

No one should face discrimination or harassment due to their gender identity or how they express it.

Trans rights are human rights.

Frequently Asked Questions

Aren’t transgender rights already protected under the law?
Yes and no. Human rights commissions try to help transgender people by accepting claims as “sex” discrimination. But until the Act clearly states it, that protection will always be subjective and vulnerable. That gap leaves many in our communities without effective legal protection. Changing the Act will make those protections crystal clear, and will be a strong statement that discrimination against trans people cannot be tolerated.

Why “gender expression” and “gender identity?”
Basically, “gender identity” means a person’s own sense of what their gender is, and “gender expression” means how they act in public to express that gender. Because trans people live a variety of experience and use a variety of labels, those two terms try to capture all of the possible kinds of discrimination they face.

Aren’t trans people protected by federal human rights law?
There is currently a bill working its way through Parliament but it has not yet passed.

Who do we need the federal law AND the provincial law to change?
The federal and provincial Human Rights Acts cover different things (because each level of government has jurisdiction over different things). While federal protection is important, for most areas of daily life, it is the provincial Human Rights Act which offers the most protection.

Why do transgender people need “special rights?”
Transgender Nova Scotians deserve the same rights and protection as all other citizens of the province from workplace discrimination, housing discrimination, and discrimination in provision of services.

Why is NSRAP advocating for this change? Why now?
NSRAP has always sought equality for all Nova Scotians, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We have lobbied the government for this change, but we feel the time is right to bring this to a public forum to demonstrate to the Nova Scotian government the demand for these protections.

Who can sign the petition?
The petition is open to all residents of Nova Scotia (whether temporary like students or permanent). All Canadians are also able to sign, however non-Canadian citizens’ signatures would not be counted.

Can I sign online?
No, at present, the government of Nova Scotia does not accept online petitions; only those signed by hand.


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