On the one-year anniversary of the trans-rights focus of the 2015 Vancouver Pride Parade, and on the eve of Vancouver’s 2016 Pride celebration, the British Columbia legislature has made it explicitly clear that transgender persons are entitled to protection under the Human Rights Code, RSBC 1996 c. 210 (the Code).

Effective July 28, 2016, the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2016 amended the Code to prohibit discrimination based on “gender identity or expression.” Specifically, the amendment confirms that, just as with any other prohibited ground contained in the Code, transgender persons cannot be discriminated against in regard to employment, among other things.

The amendment also allows transgender persons to participate in and benefit from employment equity programs that seek to improve the conditions of transgender persons in the work force.

Prior to this amendment, the law regarding discrimination against transgender persons was somewhat uncertain, although in practice the BC Human Rights Tribunal generally accepted claims by transgender people under the grounds of “sex” and “sexual orientation.” Any uncertainty in this regard has now been diminished.

The government’s press release can be found here.