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Harmful ‘Gender Identity’ Resolution Passed by Ontario Party

Teaching of Gender Identity Questioned in Schools Across the Province

Revellers hold a giant pride flag during the "WorldPride" gay pride Parade in Toronto, June 29, 2014. © 2014 Reuters

Delegates to a gathering of the governing political party of Canada’s largest province passed a resolution dismissing gender identity theory as an “unscientific ‘liberal ideology,’” an ugly contrast to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s supportive stance on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights.

At a party conference last weekend, delegates to a gathering of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party passed a nonbinding resolution that supports the imposition of a rigid definition of gender, a move that would marginalize those who don’t adhere to that definition.

The leader of Ontario and the party, Doug Ford, has already said that the government will ignore the resolution. But the fact that this resolution is even on the table in 2018, and that a majority of party delegates passed it, is immensely troubling.

The resolution advocates removal of the teaching and promotion of gender identity theory from the Ontario school curriculum. In that scenario, children would no longer learn about factors that impact gender, sexual orientation, and understanding of self at school. And we would all be worse off for it.

Children and youth who express a deeply felt gender identity that is different from their birth assigned sex would be especially vulnerable.

In July 2017, the Trudeau government amended the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, adding gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination. A month later, the government introduced gender-neutral options for official documents including passports allowing one’s sex to be marked as "X" (unspecified).

The Ontario provincial government would be wise to follow the example of the federal government and embrace the full spectrum of gender identity.

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