Trans Health Lobby Group
Media Release: Monday, May 17.10
Introducing 'Gender Identity' into Ontario Human Rights Code
Time to Deliver on Trans Human Rights!
Today trans community activists and organizations gathered at Queen's Park to call on MPPs to support amending the Ontario Human Rights Code to Include 'gender Identity'. NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo asked the Liberal Attorney General Chris Bentley about amending the Code during Question Period and introduced Toby's Act to amend the Code today, International Day Against Homo/les/bi/transphobia.
Susan Gapka, Trans Health Lobby Group Chair applauded Cheri DiNovo's strength and determination in bringing forth Toby's Act on three different occasions, as recently as November 19.09. “Human rights protection which calls for the treatment of a disadvantaged group like transsexual and transgender persons moves past ideological views to seek respect and dignity for a segment of our population. It is across, a non-partisan issue – it is a human rights issue!” Gapka thanked organizations for supporting the bill and called upon Ontario residents to telephone and write their local MPPs in support.
Sandy Hudson, President Elect of the Canadian Federation of Students Ontario; Robin Fern, Executive Member of the Rainbow Nursing Interest Group of Registered Nurses Association Ontario; Martine Stonehouse, Pink Triangle Trans Representative of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) National; Jake Pyne, Community Development Coordinator of the Trans PULSE Project; and Judith Lodi of CUPW (Canadian Union of Postal Workers) joined the Trans Health Lobby Group of the Rainbow Health Network to support the bill's introduction. Green Party of Ontario representatives also attended in support.
The Trans Health Lobby Group is a committee of the Rainbow Health Network. We are a catalyst and a resource for LGBQTT health and wellness activity, in Toronto and beyond. Our Vision is the optimal health and wellness of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Transsexual and Transgendered people and communities.
Since its founding the focus of the Trans Health Lobby Group has been to advocate for public funding of SRS by lobbying politicians and supporting community members in bringing forward a case to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. Included in our strategic direction are two more priorities; to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code to include gender identity as a prohibited ground of discrimination, and to amend the Vital Statistics Act so that trans people can more easily change their legal documents to match their true gender identity. In Ontario, the Minister of Health and Long Term Care announced restoring of funding for Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) on May 14, 2008 following a lengthy campaign by the Trans Health Lobby Group and the Rainbow Health Network to relist this medically necessary procedure.