The age of social progression has dawned on many modern nations around the globe. Many have re-evaluated the social norms that we have lived with for decades and reformed the laws that denied basic rights to certain people. This included the right for women to vote, the right to liberty, and the right to same sex marriage. Now, there is a new question at hand: Can there be too much progression?
Canada has been deemed one of the most progressive nations regarding the rights of LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) people. The Canadian government has been committed to granting equal rights to all people, including the LGBT+ community. However, the increasing number of laws passed in the past years which extended gay rights have sparked controversy.
In 2017, the passing of Bill 89 in Canada’s largest province captured the attention of many. Bill 89, also known as The Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act was passed as an attempt to reform the adoption and foster care system. Part of the bill stated that gender identity and expression will be given the same protection under law as race, disability, sexual orientation, and ethnicity.
So why is this a problem? The passing of Bill 89 created outrage for people who believed that this law infringed upon the right to freedom of religion. Because a significant number of citizens in Canada practice Christianity, some felt that in exchange for the sacrifice of their right to practice religion, the right for freedom of gender expression was implemented. A similar reaction, though on a smaller scale, came after gender identity and gender expression were added to Ontario’s Human Rights Code. These bills included, according to The Daily Signal, “Bill 13…[which] compelled public schools to have gay-straight alliances and demanded schools combat ‘homophobia’ and ‘transphobia’” and “Bill 77 in 2015 [which] prohibited particular forms of therapy for minors who struggle with gender dysphoria or other aspects of their sexuality, against the advice of numerous psychiatrists and counsellors.”
Additionally, people are worried that Canada is a precedent to the future of the United States. This could potentially change entirely how the future generations are socialized in schools. Linda Ju, a student at Beverly Hills High School claimed, “‘Progression’ of modern nations regarding these rights are walking a very fine line between social justice and infringement of other basic human rights.”
During the era of social justice, we need to untangle ourselves from this jungle of political correctness that we are using as justifications for these laws. Without going any further, we need to stop and think about what these laws can bring in the future for everyone.
Christina Im, Grade 11
Beverly Hills High School