Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Come On, Canada.. we're dropping the ball on that 'human rights' thing.

Okay, so first there was that story a while back about how all those same-sex marriages that people rushed to Canada to get weren't actually valid if they weren't recognized in the place where the couples actually lived.  That was some kind of fuck-up indeed.  I'm not sure what the point of travelling somewhere to get married is if it's not going to be recognized elsewhere.

Free tourism, I guess?

Now, it seems that there is a regulation on the books that essentially bars pre-op transgender folks from boarding airplanes for travel.  (I just want to mention that I'm not totally comfortable with the term 'pre-op' as it implies that all transgender folks WILL eventually opt for SRS - not all do.)

From blogger Chris Milloy's website:
The offending section of the regulations reads:
5.2 (1) An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if …
(c) the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents;
Milloy points out that the rule, which came about last July is not actually a piece of legislation, but a regulation put forth by the Ministry of Transportation, and as such didn't have to be subject to a lot of pesky votes and such.  No, they pretty much just said so and that was that.

Really, guys?  We have a reputation to uphold, here.  We're supposed to be the bastion of human rights in North America and we're kind of failing miserably.

Unlike the constant attacks in the U.S. on pretty much anyone who's not at the top of the kyriarchy, which have been well publicized and put right out there for our amusement and/or horror, these kind of things seem to be happening pretty quietly, with an air of 'Oh, well that's not what we meant.'

It's been said before, and Imma say it again:  INTENT.  IT AIN'T MAGIC

So even if a law is not 'meant' to be discriminatory, if it causes issues for a commonly marginalized group, then it's discriminatory.

It strikes me funny that, in the wake of the election of a Conservative Majority these governmental microaggressions seem to be popping up more frequently, but always in such a way as to allow for plausible denial and magical intent.  My inner conspiracy theorist, who makes an appearance every so often, would probably think that no, suddenly backsliding on gay marriage would be a bad political move.. but what if the law was just written poorly?  It'd reflect poorly on the government to just say 'Hey.. we aren't gonna let transgendered folks fly' but if we wrote the regulation in the name of safety?  Who doesn't like safety?

Tricky, tricky, tricky.

But then again, you'd have to be kind of a jackass, or have not had ANY exposure whatsoever to gender issues to see how such a regulation would fuck with people who don't necessarily gender-identify with what's in their pants.  In which case, makes this some pretty fucking blatant discrimination.

*Privilege disclaimer:  My experience with transgender issues is pretty limited, so if I've made use of some iffy terms or concepts here, please feel free to call me out in the comments.


  1. So now I see why you were late for dinner.. LOL

    Also, I'm pretty sure that when I researched getting married outside of Canada, the marriage isn't recognized in Canada. It seemed very common that if you were married outside of your residing country, it doesn't really count... People like to have get-away marriages, then have to get re-married by a JP or whatever when they get back home (or before). As in people getting married in Vegas but don't live in the USA, etc. I didn't know this hadn't changed, but as far as I know, it's always been this way. Before any same-sex marriages came about. So I don't think it's a jab at same-sex marriages.

    As for the transgender stuff, that regulation was likely also done before transgender people were open and such. It seems to me that if someone looks like the opposite sex of what their identification says, that it would seem that they may have a higher likelihood of impersonating someone else.

  2. As poorly written and "oppsie!!" as some of your laws may be, you've still got us down here beat.

  3. The regulation was put in place last July . It's pretty new.

  4. Okay, so it's new (that was only speculation on my part) but my point still stands about impersonation (identification fraud at it's finest).

  5. "but if we wrote the regulation in the name of safety? Who doesn't like safety?"
    How true. The US(federal or state) pulls that bullshit all the time. Pisses me off.

  6. The government shocks me less and less with these new rules and regulations "for our safety". It's ridiculous.

  7. I can understand wanting to be on the look out for impersonators but a shitty regulation that effectively marginalizes a segment of the population who have done nothing to warrant being barred from air travel is still a shitty law, going back to the idea that good intentions are not magic. I would warrant a guess that most transgender folks are just wanting to travel in peace like anyone else and are probably not more likely to impersonate anyone than any person who does identify as their given gender.

  8. Ooh, is America about to not be the most anti-LGBT country in North America? 'Cause I always hoped our time would come.

    1. I doubt that will happen. Even the conservatives have said that Canada won't be revisiting the same sex marriage laws, so it will remain legal here.

      As well, I wouldn't be surprised if that bit up there was fixed pretty soon. As is, it hasn't been used as an excuse to keep someone off a flight, so hopefully it will remain that way.


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