Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Introduces Bill to Protect Transgender People

by The Associated Press /  / Updated 
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks to a motorcade as he leaves Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday, May 4, 2016.Adrian Wyld / AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has put forward a bill to extend human rights protections to transgender Canadians.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said Tuesday the law is necessary to make it unequivocal that transgender persons have the right to live free from discrimination, hate propaganda and hate crimes. The proposal comes amid a U.S. debate about transgender bathroom policies that limit restroom use to people based on their birth sex.

Asked what her message to America is, Wilson-Raybould said: "This is a message to all Canadians that we live in a time where discrimination in any form is completely unacceptable."

The Canadian legislation would, if passed, make it illegal to prevent someone from getting a job or to discriminate in the workplace on the basis of gender identity or gender expression. It also expands hate speech laws to include gender identity and gender expression.

Related: U.S. Gives Sweeping Guidance to Schools on Transgender Students

Similar legislation has previously failed to pass Parliament several times, including last year. But when Trudeau was elected late last year and he appointed Wilson-Raybould, he made it a part of her mandate to introduce the legislation.

"Everyone deserves to live free of stigma & persecution, no matter who they are or whom they love," Trudeau tweeted.

His government has the majority of seats in the House of Commons so it will likely pass there. After that it will go to the unelected Senate.

Charlie Lowthian-Rickert, a 12 year-old transgender female, thanked the Liberal government and said she feels "much safer."

"It will protect us from hateful propaganda, assault," Lowthian-Rickert said.

The justice minister fought back tears as she spoke.

The bill was introduced on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.