Canada’s House of Commons Passes Major Transgender Rights Bill

Canada's House of Commons has passed a major bill making it illegal to discriminate against transgender citizens, the Canadian Press reports:

CanadaThe Opposition private member's legislation passed by a vote of 149-137, with the crucial support of 16 Conservatives, including four cabinet ministers.

It was one of the first tests of the Conservative caucus' resolve on lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) rights in Canada at a time when Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has been mounting a strong defence of such rights abroad.

Baird, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt and Heritage Minister James Moore were among the Conservatives who supported the bill. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, most of his front bench and the vast majority of his backbenchers opposed it.

Opposition parties were united in their support for the bill, sponsored by New Democrat Randall Garrison.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper opposed the bill.