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Vancouver activist wins in landmark transgender rights decision

Last Updated Mar 27, 2019 at 3:37 pm PDT

Morgane Oger. (Photo via Twitter: @MorganeOgerNDP)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The BC Human Rights Tribunal has found a B.C. man did discriminate against a transgender woman during her run in the last provincial election.

Bill Whatcott made and published pamphlets in 2017 attacking Morgane Oger, who was running in the Vancouver-False Creek riding. Whatcott called Oger an “impossibility” and linked transgender identity to diseases and domestic violence.

Whatcott also made attacking comments online.

Oger filed a complaint, saying Whatcott’s pamphlets were harmful to her personality and exposed other trans people to discrimination, hatred and contempt.

Oger ran for the NDP in the B.C. election. She is first openly transgender woman to be nominated by a major political party in Canada.

The BC Human Rights Tribunal has found Whatcott discriminated against Oger on the basis of her gender identity and engaged in hate speech.

He has been ordered to pay Oger $35,000 in compensation, plus $20,000 as costs for improper conduct.

“This decision affirms that the rights of transgender people to safety and dignity are essential human rights,” said says Kasari Govender, with West Coast LEAF, which was an intervenor in the case.

“Hate speech that vilifies and attempts to erase trans identity and to deny the dignity of transgender people is an attempt to dehumanize them. The Tribunal clearly states that denying the reality of transgender people is at the root of most discrimination against them.”