Today, Yasir Naqvi, Liberal MPP for Ottawa Centre, proudly voted for Bill 33, the Right to be Free from Discrimination and Harassment Because of Gender Identity or Gender Expression Act, 2012, to pass Third Reading. Bill 33, also known as Toby’s Act, was co-sponsored by MPP Yasir Naqvi, NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo, and Progressive Conservative MPP Christine Elliot. The Bill was supported by a majority of Ontario’s MPPs and will now become law.
“I could not be more proud of my colleagues at Queen’s Park for passing this legislation,” said MPP Naqvi. “Just as we did back in the 1980s with sexual orientation, we will now be protecting the rights of the trans community in Ontario. This sends a very clear message of support from MPPs from across the province.”
The historic decision to enshrine the protections of Ontario’s trans community by adding both gender identity and gender expression to the Ontario Human Rights Code occurs on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Code itself. Ontario is now the second jurisdiction in North America, after the Northwest Territories, to include the rights of transgendered people in human rights legislation.
“I want to thank everyone in the community who worked so hard to see these changes made. Extending the Human Rights Code to include gender identity and expression will help create a more equal and inclusive society,” said MPP Naqvi. “And that will benefit us all.”
The passage of Toby’s Act builds upon the recent progress made for the LGBT community with Bill 13, the Accepting Schools Act, 2012. This piece of legislation, designed to combat bullying of all forms in schools across Ontario, specifically combats homophobic, transphobic and biphobic bullying by allowing students to use the name “gay-straight alliance” for their peer support clubs if they wish.
MPP Naqvi said “I am pleased with the important progress we are making for the rights and protections of Ontario’s LGBT community through legislation like Toby’s Act and our anti-bullying measures. We are continuing to take strong steps towards the full equality and inclusion of all Ontarians in a diverse and welcoming society.”