A case of… bigotry? Oh, Canada! – LGBT people the new Terrorists

anti-LGBT Canada
Canada's Conservative Government have enacted a series of moves against LGBT people since coming to power.

If you’re trans, you’re a threat to airline security. This dubious fact has recently been enshrined in a change to the Identity Screening Regulations used at airports around Canada.

Yes, Canada, the country previously regarded as ‘one of the good guys’ seems to have had a change of heart over this last year. Having confirmed on the 13th January 2012 that a Department of Justice Lawyer, working under the Canadian Conservative Party Government of Stephen Harper, nullified all same-sex marriages performed under Canadian license where the couple’s native country does not allow same sex marriage, they’ve gone yet another step further. Equally abominable, however, is the fact that in both cases they’ve done so by the quietest and least democratic means possible without telling anybody at the time.

In this latest attack on fairness, decency and human rights, Stephen Harper’s Government has amended the Identity Screening Regulations -implemented unilaterally by the Ministry of Transportation as part of the Canadian Federal Government’s ‘no fly list’- such that trans, genderqueer and potentially, intersex people are entirely banned from boarding aeroplanes in Canada. The ‘no fly list’, known officially by the innocent sounding title “Passenger Project“, is a Government initiative to identify individuals who may be an “immediate threat to aviation security”.

Though it has only come to light recently ,the situation is the result of a regulation that came into force in July 2011 which was introduced under the tenure of  Minister of Transportation, Denis Lebel, a Conservative MP appointed to the position by Stephen Harper. In his eyes, trans, genderqueer and some intersex people are by virtue of their existence unfit to fly in Canada owing to the offending regulation:

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;

… in Canada, proof that surgery has taken place or will do so within a year is required by the federal government in order to change the gender marker on a person’s passport. It would appear that Sweden is not the only country with aspirations towards the sterilisation of a whole group of people.

This latest affront to civil liberties, basic human rights, and equality for all also follows the death of
An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression)’, which was intended to grant explicit protections against discrimination for trans people. While it was passed in Canadian House of Commons by 143 to 135, it died in the Senate along with a Bill to make it easier to send generic AIDS drugs to developing countries, as a direct result of the calling of a Federal election by… Stephen Harper. The ammendment to the Identity Screening Regulations concerning trans, genderqueer, and some intersex people occurred  immediately after the election.

It would not be at all irrational to conclude that Stephen Harper’s Government has an anti-LGBT agenda to follow, and is willing to subvert the spirit of Canada’s democratic decisions towards equality and human rights to follow it. However, even if this were not an overt act of bigotry on the part of Canada’s Conservative Government and it’s leader, one thing is certain: if  a country’s commitment to equality and Human Rights were measured in a similar way to a national credit rating, Canada has acquired a serious deficit while nobody was looking, and a substantial downgrade is warranted.

News Feed for 2012-01-25

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GLAAD releases its list of movies, LoveFilm doesn’t really notice

While nowhere near as celebrated as the Oscars, the GLAAD list highlights films and other media that help give positive insight into queer life. Here’s this year’s nominees.

I was just going to post the video on the facebook wall and be done with it, BUT I had an idea, I’ve had a LoveFilm subscription ongoing for a while, and its generally unused, but I thought why not add some of these movies to my queue.

Thats where the problems started, because while a couple of mainstream movies made it to the rentable list (J. Edgar and Albert Nobbs), apparently Beginners was known by LoveFilm, but not rentable. With this not stellar start I began running my way through the list.

Circumstance was unknown, as was Gun Hill Road. Pariah was on the future reservable list, but no image or detail was filled in. Thankfully Tomboy and Weekend made it past the filters.

I’m not out to say that every queer friendly movie should be available, and I know that they do make an effort in having a dedicated Gay/Lesbian cinema section but maybe next year when GLAAD releases its list, LoveFilm might check it out and make sure all the movies on the list are available.

Back from the dead…

I’m sorry to say I lost a bit of my inspiration with writing and keeping No More Lost going. A lot was going on in my life that made it very difficult for me to write here. I’ve currently got a big workload which isn’t going anywhere soon, but I’ve reached a point where I have the ability to bring this blog back off life support and start fighting in my own way again.

There will be some changes, as much as I have a love of my adoptive homeland in the US, I need to focus more on the UK for now. A lot is going on here, and being on the ground means I can do more. I’m looking for people who are on the ground in the US who can contribute, so if you are interested, watch this space.

However I will not abandon the US, 2012 is going to be an important year for queer rights and acceptance there and I’m going to continue writing about matters there, the balance of writing will just be focused here in the UK and Europe-wide.

The video content I started doing meant a great deal to me, and I want to continue, but I don’t want to do a video of the week style situation. There are many people out there doing some great regular videos. When I feel I can’t say something just with words, then I will look at doing another video.