Amid backlash against advancing LGBT rights, it falls to Canada and its allies to defend those who are persecuted because of their identity – and Bill C-16 is a step forward
On Thursday, the Canadian Senate passed Bill C-16, which protects Canadians from discrimination based on gender identity or expression, establishing Canada once again as a global leader in advancing LGBT rights.
A few hours earlier, T. Nhaveen died in a Malaysian hospital. Several days before, the 18-year-old student had been set upon by several youths who considered him effeminate. They beat him, burned him with cigarettes, and sodomized him with a blunt object. By the time he received medical treatment, he was brain dead.
We are witnessing a global – yet very local – phenomenon: As LGBT rights advance in parts of the world, a backlash appears to be developing in other parts. Last month, a court ruling made Taiwan the first Asian country where same-sex marriage will be legal. Also last month, Indonesian authorities caned two men 83 times in public because they had been caught having sex.
With the United States under Donald Trump no longer interested in advancing human rights, it falls to Canada and its allies to promote and defend those who face persecution because of how they identify and whom they love.