News Religious Liberty

Using the Wrong Pronoun Is Now a ‘Hate Crime’ in Canada

In Canada, you could soon be charged with a hate crime for declining to refer to a ‘transgender’ person by his or her preferred pronouns.  Despite strong objections from Conservative Senators, such as Don Plett, who represents parts of Manitoba, the Canadian Senate passed Bill C-16 by a vote of 67-11 on June 15th.  “Gender identity” and “gender expression” are now protected traits under the Canadian Human Rights Code and the country’s hate crime laws.  Following the vote, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised a ‘transgender’ pride flag above Parliament Hill in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, Ontario.

This bill is highly likely to target Christians who dissent from the left’s gender ideology.  Jack Fonseca, the senior political strategist for the Canadian pro-life group, Campaign Life, said:

Mark my words, this law will not be used as some sort of ‘shield’ to defend vulnerable transsexuals, but rather as a weapon with which to bludgeon people of faith and free-thinking Canadians who refuse to deny truth.

While proponents of the bill try to argue that it is a non-discrimination bill that would not criminalize everyday speech, the Senate rejected Senator Plett’s proposed amendment to protect free speech, which said:

For greater certainty, nothing in this Act requires the use of a particular word or expression that corresponds to the gender identity or expression of any person.

The Senate’s rejection of a perfectly reasonable amendment which would have protected the consciences of millions of Canadians shows that the intent of this bill was to criminalize dissent from the left’s gender ideology.  Jordan Peterson, a professor at the University of Toronto, told the Senate that “compelled speech has come to Canada.”

In the United States, we do enjoy additional First Amendment protections.  Just yesterday, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that free speech cannot be censored due to being controversial or politically incorrect.  Still, we have seen numerous attempts in the United States to undermine religious liberty and freedom of speech.  Christian-owned businesses, such as Sweet Cakes by Melissa, have been forced to close because of their opposition to same-sex marriage.

Many large corporations side with far-left LGBT groups, such as the Human Rights Campaign, over your religious liberty.  This is concerning because HRC pushes for SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) accommodation laws, like the Charlotte “bathroom bill” in the United States and these measures ultimately infringe on religious liberty protections for business owners and individuals.  Click here for a full list of companies, including Apple and Target, that support the Human Rights Campaign and be sure to see where all the companies in our database stand on these issues.