Pink Shirt Day 2015: The day an unelected politician prevented a democratically approved law from being enacted in Canada

Febuary 25, 2015 was is Pink Shirt Day, a day supposed to be dedicated to standing up for marginalized persons who are unable or not empowered to stand up for themselves. Questions of appropriation and whitewashing aside, this is intended to be a day where marginalized and bullied people get to feel good.

Instead, through in ironic turn of the calendar, today is the day that Don Platt, the Harper Government’s Conservative party whip in the un-elected Canadian Senate used long-disproven transphobic arguments that bring us back to the US’s civil rights movement in their blinkered bigotry to block amendments to the country’s human rights law in such a way that Canadian lawmakers in the House of Parliament (the elected lawmakers) will be faced with a poisoned choice:

1. Agree to the changes in the law and accept that transgender persons have been labeled potential sex offenders and predatory pedophiles and require that all persons use their “biologically appropriate” gendered facilities.

2. Reject the amendments and send the bill back to the senate where it will meet an artificial deadline brought on by a pending election and be cancelled.

The cynicism of this calculated action leaves no room for very much speculation. There has been discussion about this tactic for nearly a year it was a nearly foregone conclusion that Mr Harper and Mr Platt would use this opportunity to kill a bill whose history is already so politically sordid.

Glaringly, Mr Plett, representing the province of Manitoba. He was not elected to represent them but appointed by the conservative party to represent them. Mr Plett hence represents a province which does not require surgery to change birth certificates.As a result, transgender persons born in Mr Plett’s constituency can prove their “biological” sex based on a document which is now based on gender identity. This is the same in British Columbia, Newfoundland, and Ontario. Hence, the changes Mr Plett has forced into this law do not stand up to analysis in his own province, or in several others.

This is unprecedented in Canada. This is despicable. This is harmful. This is undemocratic. This is, sadly, typical of the current government.

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