Amendments to Ontario Human Rights Code to include Gender Identity and Gender Expression

On June 13, 2012 the Ontario Legislature unanimously approved Bill 33 ‘Toby’s Act (Right to be Free from Discrimination and Harassment Because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression) at its third reading.

Following Royal Assent, the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) will be amended to specify that every person in Ontario has a right to equal treatment without discrimination because of gender identity or gender expression, with respect to goods, services, and facilities, employment, accommodation, contracts, and vocational associations.

The Code will also provide that every person has the right to be free from harassment with respect to employment and accommodation because of their gender expression, however, freedom from harassment with respect to services was not included.

Ontario now joins the Northwest Territories, and most recently Manitoba, in protecting people whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex at birth.

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