Thursday, February 10, 2011
By a vote of 143-135, the Canadian Parliament has narrowly approved a bill granting transgender and gender identity anti-discrimination protections nationwide. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it faces a tough battle. Via Dented Blue Mercedes:
Bill C-389 now goes to the Senate, where it must go through three readings. Readings in the Senate don’t take months-to-years as they do for Private Members Bills in Parliament. However, as far as I know, a Senator still needs to be found who is willing to bring the bill to the floor. There could be some perils in the Senate. In the past, the Senate has mostly just ratified and tweaked legislation passed by Parliament, but as Harper has packed more conservatives into the Senate (rather than reforming it to create an elected Senate, which he once campaigned on), it has been sometimes used more undemocratically. In one recent such move, he used a lack of attendance of Liberal senators to kill a climate change bill. It is also still entirely possible that an election call could kill the bill before it is enacted into law. What would happen then is that as a community, we would need to press candidates and parties to pledge to finish what was started, and also to address other glaring omissions such as the absence of sex / gender from the hate crimes provisions from the Criminal Code of Canada.(Tipped by Rex Wockner)
UPDATE: GOP Rep. Chistopher Lee (NY) resigned tonight "effectively immediately" in the light of the scandal detailed below. Lee sent Fox News a short statement announcing his resignation and expressing regret "for the embarrassment caused to my wife and family."
Gawker has posted the Craigslist ad of married GOP Rep. Christopher Lee (R-NY), who has allegedly been using the site's "Women Seeking Men" section to seek out adulterous hook-ups in the Washington DC area. The gossip site has posted screen shots of numerous emails purportedly exchanged between Lee and a woman he angered by lying about his marital status.
Yesterday, we reached out to Rep. Lee, whose support for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and vote to reject federal abortion funding suggests a certain comfort with publicly scrutinizing others' sex lives. A spokesman for the Congressman confirmed that the email address belonged to Lee, and that he had deleted his Facebook account because our initial inquiry had him fretting about "privacy." (A screenshot of his account before it vanished is at right.)As noted above, Lee was among the U.S. House members who voted to retain DADT. His position on other LGBT rights such as same-sex marriage appears to be unknown at the moment.
So did the married Republican prowl Craiglist looking for hook ups? After first telling us that he couldn't comment until we forwarded every single email in question, a request we refused—shouldn't Lee know if he's corresponded with women on Craigslist?—Lee's spokesman eventually announced that the Congressman believed he'd been hacked, and provided an email he claims Lee sent to his staff about the security breach on January 21.