Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Canada: Anti-Transgender Speech--2 Years In Prison
Canada's ruling political party has introduced a bill that would ban anti-transgender speech, including both gender identity and gender expression, with up to 2 years in prison for violators.
The bill is an incremental extension of their existing "Hate Speech" laws.
How they got to this point should be as alarming as the new expanded "hate speech" law itself.
And yes, far left progressives in the US are communicating with far Left progressives in Canada.
Today is primary election day in Washington State. Be sure to vote, if you have not already done so. This article today reveals that elections have consequences.
The bill seeks to amend the Canadian Criminal Code expanding it to include any public speech or communication that "promotes hatred" on the basis of "gender identity" or "gender expression."
And the bill has teeth. Up to 2 years in prison if you say something that can be considered "hate speech."
Who decides what is and is not "hate speech?"
As in the US, the federal government judicial system will ultimately decide who will be charged. And as in the US, homosexual activist groups are "consulting" the government.
And the government, following the recent Canadian election, is now led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau---a far Left progressive.
Trudeau announced the bill in a speech on May 17, which happened to be "International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia" saying, "There remains much to be done."
He said, "We have taken too many important steps toward recognizing and protecting the legal rights for the LGBTQ2 community," announcing, "To do its part, the Government of Canada will introduce legislation that will help ensure transgender and other gender-diverse people can live according to their gender identity..."
What about those who happen to hold biblical views on human sexuality and gender? Views that are fundamental deeply held core religious beliefs. And are different from government-approved beliefs.
Are they protected from the fury of the "LGBTQ2 " community who determines for the government that a pastor's sermon based on verses from, say, Romans chapter 1, is hate speech, not religious beliefs?
Up to 2 years in prison if it offends the "community."
The progression of our neighbors to get to this point is important and revealing.
Canada has been walking this "progressive path" for some time---redefining marriage, affirming homosexual behavior---much like their cousins south of the border in the US---us.
However, on March 29, Canada announced it was shutting down its Religious Freedom Office.
Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion confirmed that the office was, in fact, being closed, then explained, "Our government shares the same conviction as the previous government [which was a more conservative government] but it assesses the consequences of its chosen method of promoting this conviction differently."
Same thing in a different way. Right?
He continued--"I am referring to freedom of religion or belief, which we will defend tooth and nail, but not through the office that the Harper government specifically set up for that purpose."
So how will the Canadian government defend religious freedom "tooth and nail?"
Mr. Dion says, "We believe that human rights are better defended when they are considered, universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, as set out in the Vienna Declaration."
So Canada will now defend (tooth and nail) Canadian's religious freedom through the world court of global opinion.
Biblical Christians and conservatives in Canada are, as you can imagine, very concerned. And they should be.
It's concerning that a pastor or biblical believer can now face 2 years in prison for holding and expressing biblical views on human sexuality.
Christian leaders and conservative leaders are committed to fighting on---but it's tough.
Pray for them.
To my American friends and readers---take heed.
This process in our neighboring country has been a slow, steady, incremental process of actions on the part of those who seek to redefine their country and morality itself.
I don't have to draw the parallels. You get that.
In 2013, the Canadian Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a Christian street preacher for distributing fliers denouncing homosexual behavior from a biblical basis.
The court held that the pastor's religious freedom did not excuse him from violating "hate propaganda" laws, saying he was creating a "tone of hatred" because he holds a different (biblical) view.
He was fined.
Now he would be looking a 2 years in prison---and likely fines as well.
In the United States, the New York City Commission on Human Rights released a legal enforcement guidance in December 2015---5 months ago.
It says business owners who fail or refuse to call transgender people by their preferred name or pronoun or bar them from using opposite sex bathrooms may be fined as much as $250,000.
The "guidance" also outlines a number of steps that must be taken in interacting with transgender people, and affirms that a business is liable if they fail or refuse to refer to the transgender employees or customers by preferred newly created pronouns such as "ze/hir" or they refuse or fail to call a biological male "her" or "she."
A couple of thoughts---maybe 3 thoughts.
1. For all the far Left progressives who always say if we elect a Republican president they are moving to Canada: Go for it. It will feel like home.
2. To those who like to say, "I don't think the church should be involved in politics": The church is already involved. In Canada, you have 3 options. Change your biblical beliefs about human sexuality, try to be really quiet and not let anyone know what you believe and maybe they won't notice you---be a silent Christian, or share the gospel and change your world, including your political leaders. And yes, there is risk. In fact, Jesus promised there would be risk.
3. And to those who say, "That could never happen here"---keep the sand tightly packed around your head, have a great day, and be sure not to vote.
Be Informed. Be Faithful. Be Unafraid. Be Prayerful.