Ontario in Canada has amended its Human Rights Code to protect transgender people.
It is the first province in North America to extend the anti-discrimination law to include ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’.
Upon hearing the decision, which was agreed unanimously by all members of the legislature in Toronto, transgender people hugged and shook hands with MPPs in the lobby, reported CBC News.
Speaking to the Canadian TV channel, Luka Sidaravicius said: ‘I’m just happy that now people have that tool to fight the oppression that our community faces so much.’
Cheri DiNovo, a member of the New Democrat party who tried for six years to have the code amended, told The Montreal Gazette the ‘historic’ vote would help end transphobia, which can affect people’s chances of getting a job and finding a place to live.
She adds that transgender people feel marginalized in society, with many facing a life of poverty and even contemplating suicide.
She said: ‘There’s a whole host of things that will be opened up for trans people because of this, and really this recognizes them simply as humans, with all the rights of every other human in Ontario.’