This editorial by a Canadian university professor from the far left University of Toronto appeared in the non-partisan The Hill.
Two weeks ago I posted three YouTube videos about legislative threats to Canadian freedom of speech. I singled out Canada’s Federal Bill C-16, which adds legal protection for “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal code.
I noted that the policy statements surrounding similar legislation — most particularly those on the Ontario Human Rights Commission website — were dangerously vague and ill-formulated. I also indicated my refusal to apply what are now known as “preferred” pronouns to people who do not fit easily into traditional gender categories (although I am willing to call someone “he” or “she” in accordance with their manner of self-presentation).
These videos attracted a disproportionate amount of attention — online, in the Canadian national media, and beyond. A demonstration at the University of Toronto protested my statements. Another was held in support of free speech. The latter was met by counter-demonstrators who drowned out the speakers with white noise and assaulted a young female journalist — an act now viewed by half a million people on YouTube overall.
Here is the video:
If you are wondering, reasonably, why any of this might be relevant to Americans, you might note that legislation very similar to Bill C-16 has already been passed in New York City.
Authorities there now fine citizens up to $250,000 for the novel crime of “mis-gendering” — referring to people by any words other than their pronouns of choice (including newly constructed words such as zie/hir, ey/em/eir and co).
The issue is government forcing us to use words that do not reflect reality:
Bill C-16, and its legislative sisters, are particularly insidious constructions.
[…]There is… a crucial difference between laws that stop people from saying arguably dangerous words and laws that mandate the use of politically-approved words and phrases. We have never had laws of the latter sort before, not in our countries. This is no time to start.
So, a note from a Canadian friend. The citizens of your great country, and ours — and of our allies across the Western world — are at risk.
Careless, ideologically-addled legislators are forcing us to use words we did not freely choose. We have to draw a line in the sand. That’s why people are watching. It’s a vitally important issue. We cannot afford to get it wrong.
This is actually the mainstream Democrat view. We should expect this view to become federal law whenever Democrats are elected (often with the votes of Catholics and liberal Protestants). This is what Democrats mean when they say “tolerance” and “equality”. They mean an end to free speech. You don’t have to be a conservative to be alarmed by this, especially when we have so many other more pressing problems, e.g. – the national debt, national security, the dangerous foreign policy situations worldwide, etc.
For those looking to science on the transgender issue, I recommend this peer-reviewed paper published in The New Atlantis journal. It’s balanced, and I disagree with some of the conclusions, but you have to at least know what science says about this issue right now.