Legislation to provide protection for gender identity and gender expression – the top 5 things to know

Archived information

Legislation on gender identity and gender expression received royal assent on June 19, 2017.

  • The Canadian Human Rights Act would be amended to add gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination.
  • The Criminal Code would be amended to prohibit hate propaganda against groups that are identifiable based on gender identity or gender expression, and allow longer sentences for criminal offences motivated by hate based on gender identity or gender expression.
  • Gender diversity is not a type of gender identity – rather, it is an umbrella term that includes all definitions of gender, including gender identity, gender expression, and transgender.
  • Transgender persons face high levels of discrimination, including employment barriers: according to a study conducted in 2010, 18% of participants had been refused employment because they were transgender, and the median income of all respondents was $15,000 per year.
  • Transgender persons face a high risk of violent crime: according to a study conducted in 2010, 20% of respondents had been physically or sexually assaulted, though many had not reported these assaults to the police.Footnote 1
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