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October 19 - Pol315

5 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
Michael Ignatieff

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POL315 - Wed, October 19 2011 News Items - a young student committed suicide in ottawa yesterday - said to be caused bullying about him being gay - human rights trial hearing: BC case involving bed and breakfast refusing a room to a gay male couple; case began a couple years ago; claim is justified apparently on the basis of religious beliefs - 2 new judges appointed to supreme court of canada --> somewhat more conservative than the norm but there has been good coverage from the newspapers Trans Gains - we are beginning to see important changes in law - lots of changes of whether changes in law and public policy make any difference at all - mostly, these are public arguments and shift the people to making these institutional changes - if changes by law and public policy are not affected by change in public policy, people can argue that changes in law especially the inclusion of gender identity can help shape these attitudes - it matters in terms of visibility of issues associated w/trans activism to how much concrete impact has to question United States - rayside believes in part b/c of the longer visibility and more sustained visibility of activism in the states, there have been more gains in public policy and law than in most of the rest of the world - more gains that have acquired a certain visiblity, so that the policy gains themselves have been fought hard for so have a visible standing - it matters that there is an increasing number of US states who are including gender identity in state level human rights statures - one way of looking @ trajectory of change: look at recent historical periods - how many jurisdictions have added gender identity? - the number of jurisdictions at all regional and lower levels (there are 1000s, and 1000s of local governments and jurisdictions) - issue of gender identity began in 1975 in US … early! - sexual orientation issues began in 1960s, and they are not as controversial as gender identity - first: minneapolis was the first to do this in 1975 (trans) --- has a strong history of progressive politics - second: LA 1979 -- much more urban, much bigger city - between ’75 - ’80, three jurisdictions included trans - ’81-’85 - 3 more - still no state level - ‘86 - ‘90 - 2 more - total 8 jurisdictions by 1990 - 1991 - 1996: 4 more -- state of Minnesota - 1997 - 2000: 22 - so you can see the breaking point of 96 where it began to take off - in this time, there were no new additional states - 2000-2005: 50 --- 6 states plus district of colombia - smaller states slower to change Medical Coverage - very difficult to get coverage or insurance or support for any procedure Canada - 2 jurisdictions have explicitly included gender identity - NWT were the first (unusual) - by the time they got around to what the supreme court of Canada said anyway --- add sexual orientation to their statue --- this was around the same time that trans issues were on the table - ontario 2008 - it has been covered on some grounds in most other provinces - including the federal level, 5 provincial levels plus the feds - there was intent in the last parliament that was close to success to adding gender identity to the Canadian human rights act - it was a private members bills introduced by openly gay NDP member of parliament - 2 other members have now introduced similar private member bills - however the chances of them succeeding are very small Medical Coverage - state coverage of medical expenses: full coverage is absent in our country - there is not a single province that offers full coverage - 4 provinces have partial coverage (ON, BC, QB, SK) - SK though it has had history of NDP governments at provincial level, if you look @ public opinion data it is the most socially conservative government in Canada as of 2010/11 - still, you need alot of support for gender reassignment Europe - reading EU document which has map at end ILGA document seemed positive - the EU is such a complex and sometimes sluggish, but with so many member states any gain is trumpeted quite loudly - sometimes the member states vary alot b/t public policies/issues - it is still far too early to say whether and how much there is generally inclusive policy and practices of the range towards gender issues - at the official level, the EU has formally barred discrimination based on gender reassignment which is only part of the picture - basically says you can’t discriminate on people based on gender reassignment - in any event, in EU policy, as with other european policies, adoption by national governments or legislatures is often very uneven - we know that some of the countries of which there has been a formal provision in national law, that implementation may be non-existent - countries that have been most advanced are the netherlands, denmark - gains in former policy and law which are still slow - only began i
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