Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Gender Language Control Is Out Of Control!


Jordan Peterson: People Cant Believe What's Happening
Published on Sep 18, 2017
Dr. Peterson talks about the rise of language control that is currently being implemented into Canadian law.
The sheer astonishment many folks have for what is going on in that it's almost impossible to believe. We may have taken freedom of speech for granted.

Jordan Peterson - Is it Game Over?
Published on Sep 9, 2017

Bill C-16 Passes Freedom of Speech dies | The Millennial Revolt
The Millennial Revolt
Published on May 22, 2017
Senator Plett Moves Amendment at 3rd Reading of Bill C-16 (Gender Identity, Gender Expression)
June 9, 2017
Hon. Donald Neil Plett: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak at third reading to Bill C-16.
Since I last rose to speak on this topic, we have had an in depth study of this legislation at committee. Witnesses gave impassioned pleas to the committee and made substantive contributions.
This legislation was not studied in the House of Commons, so I would like to start my speech by saying that I am proud of the thorough work that the Senate has done on this legislation to date.
If I had to sum up the witness testimony in a few short sentences it could be characterized by the following: Trans people face discrimination and marginalization in Canadian society; this legislation could have a disproportionate impact on women; and, third, the interpretation of this bill and its surrounding policies will likely constitute the most egregious infringement on freedom of speech in Canadian history.
My speech today will focus on this last issue because, colleagues, this cannot be swept under the rug.
I raised this concern — the issue of compelled speech — at second reading, and it was expanded upon in great detail by several witnesses at committee, including litigators, law professors, constitutional experts and a free speech advocate from the transgender community.
Some proponents of the bill have tried to get around this point by stating that there is nothing written in the bill that compels speech. After all, the bill simply adds two grounds — gender identity and gender expression — to the Canadian Human Rights Act and to the Criminal Code.
As the same proponents know, the problem is when we leave the interpretation of these new grounds to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Most of us have worked with legislation for long enough to know that the appropriate level of analysis is not the words written on a page. The analysis we must provide, at a most basic level, as legislators, includes how the bill will likely be interpreted and how it will impact Canadians.
As Senator Jaffer stated earlier this week, the minister herself denied the infringement upon freedom of speech by referring to the hate speech provisions in the Criminal Code.
None of the arguments that have been made with respect to the compelling of speech have anything to do with the Criminal Code amendments, despite senators at the table disingenuously claiming that this bill is only about genocide.
One senator, who I respect immensely, was furious at two witnesses who testified about the infringement upon freedom of speech, implying that they were okay with inciting genocide of trans people. This was truly appalling, and I received letters from both witnesses afterwards, one of whom is a trans woman, about the treatment that they received from this senator and the insinuations he had made. The two were just there to talk about the impact this legislation would have on freedom of expression.
I cannot believe that I would even need to say this, but let me be perfectly clear: Opponents of the legislation, including myself and witnesses who appeared at committee, do not believe in discrimination against transgender people and do not believe in the promotion of genocide of transgender people. The insinuation is absurd and insulting.
However, as I said, it is clear that the minister does not even understand the "compelled speech" concern raised repeatedly by legal experts at committee as she responded by making reference to the hate speech provisions in the Criminal Code.
For Canadians who are paying attention and who still have questions about how the words on the page in front of us get us to compelled speech, let me explain. The origins of Bill C-16 can be found in the same legislation at the provincial level, including the Ontario Human Rights Code. When a new ground of protection is added to the Canadian Human Rights Act, like the Ontario Human Rights Code, the respective commissions are tasked with setting the surrounding policies and guidelines.
There is a long documented history of the federal policies mirroring those found at the provincial level when interpreted by the commission. With respect to this particular bill, the government's intention was made expressly clear through a Department of Justice review of Bill C-16 published on their website. The review includes a question and answer section in which the government states:
Definitions of the terms "gender identity" and "gender expression" have already been given by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, for example. The Commission has provided helpful discussion and examples that can offer good practical guidance. The Canadian Human Rights Commission will provide similar guidance on the meaning of these terms in the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Colleagues, this statement of intent is perfectly clear. The Ontario Human Rights Commission has produced a policy on gender identity and expression and what constitutes harassment and discrimination, including refusing to refer to a person by their self-identified name and personal pronoun.
With the passage of Bill C-16 in its current form, if one encounters a person in a sphere of activity covered by the federal code and addresses that person by a pronoun that is not the chosen personal or preferred pronoun of that person, your action can constitute discrimination.
As Jared Brown stated in his legal analysis, "In the event that your personal or religious beliefs do not recognize genders beyond simply male and female (for example, your beliefs do not recognize non-binary, gender neutral or other identifies), you must still utilize the non-binary, gender neutral or other pronouns required by non-binary or gender neutral persons, lest you be found to be discriminatory."
The pronouns I am referring to include words like "zi," "zir," "they," et cetera, but the list is truly infinite as the pronouns accompany the 70-plus genders that exist to date. Any such pronouns are at the sole discretion of the non-binary or gender non-conforming individual.
These are words that are not yet even in the dictionary. Nevertheless, this is effectively changing language by statute, which means that language is now in the purview of the state.
Honourable senators, this is so wrong in a free country. When Jared Brown testified before committee on freedom of expression issues, he stated:
It's a foundational issue. We all know that section 2(b) of the Charter sets out that everybody has the fundamental freedoms of thought, belief, opinion and expression. We all know that the government has successfully restricted freedom of expression over the years. But what if, rather than restricting what you can't say, the government actually mandated what you must say? In other words, instead of legislating that you cannot defame someone, for instance, the government says, "When you speak about a particular subject, let's say gender, you must use this government-approved set of words and theories.
The American jurisprudence clearly defines this as unconstitutional compelled speech. In Canada, honourable senators, the Supreme Court has enunciated the principle that anything that forces someone to express opinions that are not their own is a penalty that is totalitarian and as such alien to the tradition of free nations like Canada."
Some proponents have claimed this issue to be a red herring, stating things like "Professor Jordan Peterson would never actually find himself before the courts for his stance on the gender spectrum or for failing to use a gender neutral pronoun."
With respect, this is simply incorrect. First, Professor Peterson made his initial video stating he would not use the zie or zir pronouns, language that he regards as part of an ideological linguistic vanguard.
The University of Toronto's legal department — not an administrator — sent him two letters ordering him to cease and desist in his public utterances because they believed he was not only violating the university's standards of conduct but was also violating the relevant provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
As Professor Peterson said in committee:
. . . that vindicated the statement I made when I made the video to begin with, that the act of making the video itself was probably already illegal.
Second, as Professor Peterson publicly criticized the Ontario policy, the OHRC clarified its policy with respect to pronoun use and went even further by setting out the following:
. . . refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity or purposely misgendering will likely be discrimination.
So what is the big deal? What happens to an individual who is found to be discriminatory by the Human Rights Tribunal? There are a number of possible sanctions the tribunal can order, including both monetary and non-monetary orders. Non-monetary orders can include forced apologies, gag orders, publication bans and orders to undertake sensitivity and anti-bias training.
If you, as an intellectual dissenter, fail to complete one of these reprehensible and backward court orders, the likely consequence is prison time. In fact, failure to comply has led to jail time at both provincial and federal levels. This is truly outrageous. It is particularly appalling when it comes to an issue like this, when we are talking about a new ground that is not based on immutable characteristics but on a social science theory about social construction and a spectrum of gender.
While I knew why I would be reluctant to undergo court-mandated sensitivity training, I asked Dr. Peterson to elaborate why someone like him who dissents as an intellectual and as a practitioner would have an objection to taking such training. His answer was rather enlightening:
I have a profound objection to undergoing such training. In fact, I would flatly refuse under all conditions to undergo it, and there are multiple reasons for that. The first reason is that the science surrounding the so-called charge of implicit bias that's associated with the perception is by no means settled . . . .
He later continued:
Where's the evidence that anti unconscious bias training works? There's no evidence, and what little evidence there is suggests it actually has the opposite effect because people don't like being brought in front of a re-education committee and having their fundamental perceptions . . . altered by collective fiat.
Honourable senators, language evolves as we use it and as it becomes relevant in a modern society. Think of the word "Ms." The term was born out of a need to fix a clear problem. Many women didn't want their marital status unnecessarily disclosed, and wanted the option to not define themselves based on their marital status. This was a natural societal evolution, and the language evolved organically. It did not evolve by legal force.
Some senators tried to call into question the certainty of these policies by highlighting other segments of the incoherent Ontario Human Rights Code that were less specific than the clauses I read out. The fact that the policy is full of internal contradictions does not make for a strong argument, especially considering that the most detailed guidance was clarified after Jordan Peterson rose to public consciousness.
On this point, University of Toronto Professor Brenda Cossman, a proponent of the bill and a witness at committee, has said this regarding Bill C-16:
. . . pronoun misuse may become actionable, through Human Rights Tribunals and courts.
Another supporter of the bill, Law Professor Kyle Kirkup, answered a question about a person who wants a non-traditional pronoun used, and whether that person would have a case before the Human Rights Commission. Kirkup replied with this:
So we haven't seen cases on that at this point, but I would say absolutely . . .
Honourable senators, there is another concept that came up a lot at committee, and that is the notion of respect. We do not legislate respect, honourable senators. Respect is earned. It is ludicrous to suggest that it is harassment to refuse to refer to an individual by a made-up word that they have chosen for themselves.
On this point, constitutional expert Jay Cameron weighed in:
In our society, which is a free and just society, we do not compel respect. It is not the government's role to compel us to respect each other. There is no case law that says I must respect any person or that they must respect me. I'm a lawyer. I don't require people to speak to me as "esquire" or "Mr. Cameron" or "barrister and solicitor." If they refuse to address me as such, I would have no legal recourse against them. Neither does a doctor, neither does a professor, neither does a knight, neither does a senator.
Professor Peterson also weighed in on the question of respect:
I would say that the very idea that calling someone a term that they didn't choose causes them such irreparable harm that legal remedies should be sought, rather than regarding it as a form of impoliteness, that legal remedies should be sought, including potential violation of the hate speech codes, is an indication of just how deeply the culture of victimization has sunk into our society.
Personal or intellectual dissenters of the gender spectrum theory or the social constructionist viewpoint would not be afforded any special accommodation. Even though the science is overwhelmingly in favour to the point where the social constructionist theory has been all but disproven, the law would not accommodate this perspective. The law and its future interpretation will only accommodate proponents of the flawed and self-contradictory social science theory of the infinite gender spectrum.
This is the same theory that is predicated on the notion that sex, sexual orientation and gender identity all vary independently of one another and, thus, that one has no influence on the other.
There are lots of valid reasons to not want to use ideologically driven gender-neutral language, and none of them have to do with a regressive, backward or ignorant perspective.
Evolutionary biology professor Dr. Gad Saad told the committee that the tenets of evolutionary biology — namely, the scientifically proven distinctions between men and women — are already viewed as micro-aggressions and as systemic violence on some university campuses.
From a scientific and academic perspective, he has grave concerns with being forced to use gender-neutral language that implies a passive endorsement of this theory.
Likewise, Theryn Meyer told the committee:
As a trans woman myself, I take advantage of the freedom of speech that this amazing country has granted me to argue for tolerance and understanding for my fellow man, and to explore how best to negotiate integration of my transgender brothers and sisters into society.
Meyer later stated:
The reason I am here is because I have witnessed first-hand the unprecedented ideological motivations behind the terms being used, the way they're used and the way they are defined.
The question that we need to consider is whether the benefits of this legislation outweigh the drawbacks. In my opinion, given that the Canadian Human Rights Commission has already stated that trans people are protected in Canadian human rights law, and given the impending outrageous infringement on freedom of expression, the answer is clear.
However, I know that there are members of the trans community who feel that the passage of this legislation will be the final piece of the puzzle in Canada's multi-jurisdictional human rights regime. Many also feel that the symbolic gesture of this legislation means that Canada is recognizing the legitimacy of transgender people as equal under the law.
Honourable as those goals may be, they do not detract from the problem that we have before us. We do not have the wherewithal to define the surrounding policies and guidelines in this place, but we can make Parliament's intent clear. As Senator Baker has pointed out a number of times, the courts constantly make reference to the Senate when determining Parliament's intent. In this case, we have an obligation to make our intention clear, or make no mistake, we will have compelled speech at the federal level upon the passage of this bill.
Witnesses pleaded with us to make an amendment. The minister herself said this legislation is not intended to compel speech. For that reason, the government should have no problem accepting an amendment in this regard and, in fact, should welcome it.
In committee, Senator Pratte stated to Queen's law professor Bruce Pardy:
. . . there is nothing in the legislation that mandates pronouns or nouns. There is nothing in the legislation that says that.
Professor Pardy responded with this:
It sounds like you interpret the statute as though it does not require speech and should not require speech. I agree with you. All I'm saying is it does leave open that possibility because of the control the commission has, and there is an easy way to make sure that your objective and mine are met, and that is to insert a very simple amendment saying what you just said.
Let's make our intention clear.
Before I conclude, I need to make reference to a couple of issues that tremendously disappointed me at committee.
I already spoke of the one incident in which a senator angrily replied that the witnesses were okay with the incitement of genocide of transgender people. But later, I wanted to append an observation stating the following:
The committee heard from witnesses who raised serious concerns regarding interpretations of this legislation by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, specifically with respect to the compelling of gender-neutral speech from persons who may or may not subscribe to this particular theory of gender.
I felt that it would be a gross mistake on the part of the committee to not include a note about the very serious concerns raised about compelled speech.
The arguments put forward by some esteemed members of the committee were that we did not want to imply that there was any credibility or validity to the arguments raised by the six experts who raised these concerns.
I found this fascinating. The senator who raised this point was not even present for the meeting on compelled speech, and it was even more surprising that not one senator could come up with a single argument to dispute these claims. That is very telling.
Senator Joyal's argument against this observation was not that there were not valid concerns, but that if we were putting in observations every time we have serious concerns, we would have too many observations. And Senator Mitchell's objection was that we would be giving credence to these concerns without giving similar credence to the proponents of the bill.
As I stated then, the committee's passing of the bill without amendments was a fairly good indicator that the proponents' testimony was heard. This bizarre attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of Canadians on this issue is disturbing, to say the least.
I asked Senator Harder last week about why the Department of Justice web page linking Bill C-16 to the reprehensible Ontario policies disappeared mysteriously after Peterson's concerns gained traction. I am looking forward to receiving that answer as to why, and at whose direction, the page was removed. As one witness pointed out, this page was really the smoking gun.
The concern is not hypothetical, as some have tried to suggest. It is very real. As we know, many proponents are acknowledging this is precisely how the legislation will be interpreted. They just somehow manage to believe that giving language control over to the state is a good idea. It is happening currently at the provincial level, and based on the statement of intent from the government and the usual course of federal human rights policies mirroring their provincial equivalents, we have absolutely every reason to suspect a similar interpretation at the federal level.
All we have to do is make our intention clear.
When Senator Joyal asked Professor Bruce Pardy about letting the courts decide whether there is an infringement on freedom of speech rather than introducing a clarifying amendment, Professor Pardy responded:
But it's even not clear what it is you're trying to do. Is the bill intended to force speech or not? People are saying, "No, no, it doesn't do that." If that's what you mean, then say so. If you do mean that, then let's say that. Why would you want the courts to be making the law in the country? You're the legislature. Legislate.
Colleagues, Canadians are watching. There is a reason that thousands of people tuned into the particular committee hearing on compelled speech live, and over 400,000 people have watched the hearing on YouTube since. Canadians are concerned, engaged and paying attention. They are listening today. In fact, in my eight years in the Senate, I have never seen such a strong and engaged response from Canadians of all political stripes who are concerned about this infringement on their freedom of speech and the general precedent this represents. If you believe in sending a strong message to the Canadian Human Rights Commission that Canadians should be free from having to mouth opinions and ideologies that are not their own, while enshrining explicit protection for trans people under the law, I look forward to your support on the following amendment.
I will leave you with one final comment from Professor Pardy at committee:
. . . forced speech is the most egregious infringement of freedom of speech, and freedom of speech may be the most important freedom that we have. Compelled speech puts words in the mouths of citizens and threatens to punish them if they do not comply. When speech is merely restricted, you can at least keep your thoughts to yourself. Forced speech makes people say things with which they do not agree.
Motion in Amendment
Hon. Donald Neil Plett: Therefore, honourable senators, in amendment, I move:
That Bill C-16 be not now read a third time, but that it be amended on page 2, by adding the following after line 3:
"2.1 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 4:4.1 For greater certainty, nothing in this Act requires the use of a particular word or expression that corresponds to the gender identity or expression of any person.".
Thank you.
Are Jordan Peterson’s Claims About Bill C-16 Correct?
The U of T professor has made claims about going to prison for his beliefs and criminalizing free speech. Here's what the legislation says.
By Lisa Cumming
December 19, 2016
Could Bill C-16 trample free speech and criminalize freedom of expression?
So claims Jordan Peterson, the U of T professor who posted a video lecture online in September that criticized political correctness, and in which he discussed his belief that non-binary identities are invalid.
Peterson has said he would refuse to use gender-neutral pronouns if requested by a non-binary student.
Of the proposed federal Bill C-16, Peterson told the Toronto Sun: “These laws are the first laws that I’ve seen that require people under the threat of legal punishment to employ certain words, to speak a certain way, instead of merely limiting what they’re allowed to say.”
Peterson has also said he believes freedom of speech is under attack in Canada.
What’s the legitimacy to Peterson’s claims about Bill C-16? We fact-checked them.
First things first:
What is Bill C-16?
The bill proposes adding gender identity and gender orientation to the Canadian Human Rights Act. This means that it would become illegal under the Act to deny someone a job or discriminate against them in the workplace based on the gender they identify with or outwardly express.
If passed, the bill would also add gender identity and gender expression to the Criminal Code in two ways:
Section 718.2 is about what principles should be taken into consideration when a court imposes a sentence.
Section 718.2(a) is about how a sentence should be increased or reduced to account for any relevant aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
Section 718.2(a)(i) speaks about offences where evidence shows that action was motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate based on social groups. This list already includes race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, and sexual orientation.
2. Section 318 is about hate propaganda.
Subsection 318(4) adds gender identity and gender expression to the definition of an identifiable group for the purposes of “advocating genocide.” This legislation would protect transgender and gender non-binary peoples from being a targeted group in an act of genocide.
The House of Commons voted in favour of the bill in October. Next, it will go before the Justice Committee.
In Ontario, the Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination due to gender identity. In 2012, it became the first province to amend its human rights legislation to provide this protection.
What has Peterson said about Bill C-16?
“I think that some of the things that I say in my lectures now might be illegal,” Peterson says in this video (at 17:35). “I think that they might even be sufficient for me to be brought before the Ontario Human Rights Commission under their amended hate speech laws.”
He says he’s concerned that something he says when he’s teaching can be “transformed suddenly into hate speech.”
In a panel discussion on TVO’s The Agenda in October, Peterson said not only would not using someone’s preferred pronouns be considered discrimination under the new human rights legislation, it would be a form of hate speech.
“That’s why I made the video. I said that we were in danger of placing the refusal to use certain kinds of language into the same category as Holocaust denial.”
In the same discussion, he said:
“If they fine me, I won’t pay it. If they put me in jail, I’ll go on a hunger strike. I’m not doing this. And that’s that. I’m not using the words that other people require me to use. Especially if they’re made up by radical left-wing ideologues.”
Analyzing Peterson’s claims
According to Brenda Cossman, a professor of law at the University of Toronto, Peterson is “fundamentally mischaracterizing” Bill C-16.
“I don’t know if he’s misunderstanding it, but he’s mischaracterizing it,” Cossman says.
(Brenda Cossman spoke to Torontoist about this, but you can find what else she’s said on the issue here.)
Cossman says it seems Peterson is trying to argue that the misuse of pronouns could constitute hate speech.
“I don’t think there’s any legal expert that would say that [this] would meet the threshold for hate speech in Canada,” she says.
Our courts have a very high threshold for what kind of comments actually constitutes hate speech, and the nature of speech would have to be much more extreme than simply pronoun misuse, according to Cossman.
“The misuse of pronouns is not equivalent to advocating genocide in any conceivable manner,” she continues. “If he advocated genocide against trans people, he would be in violation, but misusing pronouns is not what that provision of the code is about.”
Cossman, who has participated in a debate with Peterson, takes issue with the way he uses the language to describe what could happen if he was found in violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
“If he was found guilty by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, he would have been doing something illegal but not criminal,” Cossman says. In other words, he wouldn’t go to jail. Jail is only a punishment for committing a criminal offence—a violation of the Criminal Code.
If Peterson was found to be in violation of the code, there are different possible remedies. He could be ordered to pay money, he could be ordered to correct the behaviour, he could be ordered to go to training, etc.
How does the ORHC’s policy apply to U of T?
The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy on Preventing Discrimination because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression [PDF] outlines best practices for the treatment of transgendered and gender non-binary peoples.
Under this policy, Peterson is responsible for:
  • Accepting requests for accommodation in good faith (unless there is evidence the request is not genuine)
  • Making reasonable requests for only information that is necessary to clarify the nature and extent of the accommodation needed for the situation
  • Making sure that information related to accommodation is kept confidential and shared only with people who need the information for their role in implementing the accommodation
  • Acting in a timely way and taking an active role in looking for solutions
  • Covering any appropriate costs related to the accommodation

The students seeking accommodation are responsible for:
  • Telling the accommodation provider (employer, landlord, service provider, etc.) when they have code-related needs that require accommodation
  • Providing information relevant to their needs and meeting any agreed-upon standards once accommodation has been provided
  • Cooperating in the accommodation process to the best of their ability

What about corporate liability?
U of T has the “legal duty and ultimate responsibility to maintain an environment free from discrimination and harassment because of gender identity and expression,” according to the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s policy.
Now let’s look at “vicarious liability.” Here’s the definition, from the Ontario Human Rights Code:
“…any act or thing done or omitted to be done in the course of his or her employment by an officer, official, employee or agent of a corporation, trade union, trade or occupational association, unincorporated association or employers’ organization shall be deemed to be an act or thing done or omitted to be done by the corporation, trade union, trade or occupational association, unincorporated association or employers’ organization.”
The policy explains further: “Vicarious liability may make an employer responsible for discrimination arising from the acts of its employees or agents, done in the normal course, whether or not it had any knowledge of, participation in, or control over these actions.”
In other words, the University of Toronto could be held accountable for discriminatory actions committed by its employees.
What about the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act?
All workplaces in Ontario are supposed to develop harassment policies and review them at least once per year. The policies should include protection for gender identity and expression.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s policy adds that workplaces should consider, too, developing policies and procedures to address “the specific needs of trans people related to transitioning, identity documents, washrooms and change facilities, privacy and confidentiality, etc….Addressing them will help remove significant barriers for trans people in their daily lives.”
Establishing discrimination
The Criminal Code does not define discrimination. An understanding of discrimination has evolved from tribunal and court decisions.
To establish discrimination a person must show:
  • They have a characteristic protected by one or more of the code grounds (e.g. gender identity or gender expression)
  • They experienced adverse or negative treatment or impact in one of the social areas under the code (e.g. in accessing a service, housing, or employment)
  • The protected characteristic was a factor in the adverse treatment or impact

The claimant must show that more likely than not that negative treatment has happened.
Human rights at the international level
There is a document that establishes international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, but it is not the United Nations’ 
The policy refers to The Yogyakarta Principles [PDF] 
as its international human rights law. These principles were launched in 2007, joint  effort by UN experts, judges, and advocates. They set legal standards for how governments and other bodies should work to ensure equality for LGBTQ people.
Working under that framework, the OHRC’s policy states that a person who has a gender identity different from their birth-assigned sex should be treated according to their lived gender identity.
Some other key takeaways from the OHRC’s Policy on Preventing Discrimination because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression
Trans people may need distinct forms and degrees of accommodation along the way.
“Respect, understanding and confidentiality is everyone’s responsibility during transition and the accommodation process. Organizations should be alert to preventing and addressing any harassment that may happen. Developing policies and training staff will also help prevent problems during transition.”
It’s important to recognize lived gender identity.
“A person’s request should usually be enough.”
A good example of this is the University of Toronto has a policy that allows students to change their name and gender on academic records, class lists, and online student databases by writing a letter to their college registrar, requesting this change. The university requires the student to establish and authenticate their identity.
“A person’s self-identified gender should be accepted genuinely in good faith even if identity documents do not match their lived gender. An organization would need a serious reason to doubt someone’s self-identified gender.”
Lastly, some resources
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has an excellent document that gives some understanding to the importance of correct pronoun use.
The centre says that gender-neutral and gender-inclusive pronouns are the result of languages, like English, not having a gender-neutral or third-gender pronoun.
People who are limited by languages that don’t include gender neutral pronouns have attempted to create them, in the interest of greater equality.

Image courtesy of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center.
When in doubt, just ask.
Also See:

Kissing Freedom Goodbye In Canada!

29 August 2017

Canadians Can Get Prison For Refusing To Use Gender Pronouns!

05 July 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

CBD Oil Benefits: Cancer, Epileptic Seizures, and More!

Is Using Cannabidiol for You? (The Truth about CBD Oil )
Devin Burke
Published on May 31, 2016
Cancer Survivor Says CBD Oil ‘Saved Her Life’ After Doctors Said She Had 6 Months To Live
Article by Amanda Froelich republished from 
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
(Natural News) Four years ago, this cancer survivor was told she had “six to 18 months” to live. Today, she is advocating for the decriminalization of the life-saving herb
No one wants to be told they have cancer — let alone an inoperable brain tumor, yet this is the exact reality Lynn Cameron was faced with in 2013. In December of that year, doctors informed the 48-year-old that she had just “six to 18 months” to live. You can imagine her devastation.
Determined to live, Cameron underwent several sessions of chemotherapy along with radiotherapy.
“I took a seizure on November 30, 2013, prior to which I had been quite well. I had a scan on December 10 and it showed a mass, and I was taken straight into Southern General at that point,” explained Cameron. “I was operated on on December 16, and on December 27 I was told that I had stage 4 terminal brain cancer. So I underwent the chemotherapy and radiotherapy combined, but was told even then I would live six to 18 months at best.”
Scared by the diagnosis, she also began supplementing with cannabis oil (CBD) — a therapy that is presently illegal in the UK. “A good friend suggested cannabis, but I was too scared because it’s illegal. I also found it hard to believe that it would cure brain cancer so advanced,” she said. “But as the scans were showing there was no change to the mass, I eventually thought, ‘I’m going to break the mold here and try that’.”
Nearly four years after her diagnosis, Lynn is still alive and says cannabis oil is the reason. She is now advocating “for the reform of the current prohibitive laws around the use of cannabis for medication.”
Credit: mogaz news en
Over the past four years, the cancer patient has educated herself on a wide range of natural therapies to combat the affliction. She said, “I researched more and more into natural ‘cancer killers’ and decided to follow an alkaline diet and cut out processed foods altogether. I also cut out sugar completely. I started taking cannabis oil under my tongue, as it gets straight into the blood stream that way.”
Over the past four years, the cancer patient has educated herself on a wide range of natural therapies to combat the affliction. She said, “I researched more and more into natural ‘cancer killers’ and decided to follow an alkaline diet and cut out processed foods altogether. I also cut out sugar completely. I started taking cannabis oil under my tongue, as it gets straight into the blood stream that way.”
Reportedly, every scan Cameron received showed an improvement. “I had been told that chemotherapy and radiotherapy doesn’t make much difference, so I knew it must be the cannabis doing it. By the sixth MRI, the cancer had gone,” she said.
After finally receiving the all-clear, Lynn challenged the doctors about the potential benefits (or adverse reactions) of supplementing with cannabis oil. “The doctors treating me didn’t know about the cannabis oil until I got the results,” she said. “I challenged them on it, but they dismissed it. They weren’t taught about cannabis at medical school – more for a political reason than medical I believe.”
“They told me, ‘eat whatever you like, take all the vitamins you want, it won’t work’. But these were the people who told me my cancer was incurable, and it was gone,” she exclaimed. “The British Medical Journal hasn’t properly investigated cannabis. The irony was they were giving me morphine and codeine in the wards. Prior to becoming ill, I had never taken a pill before in my life.”
Cannabutter Credit: 420Smokers
Though chemotherapy has been proven to be more beneficial when partnered with the supplementation of cannabis oil, it is possible the extract from the marijuana plant is what propelled Cameron’s healing process the most. Until more research is conducted, this cannot be confirmed.
Said the cancer survivor: “It was up to me what treatment I took, and I’m glad I researched it.”
Cannabis oil (CBD) CURES 12-year-old girl of life-threatening seizures
by: Amy Goodrich
Thursday, June 08, 2017
(Natural News) Cannabis oil (CBD) has saved a 12-year-old girl from having life-threatening seizures caused by a rare form of epilepsy. Earlier this year, Annalise Lujan was competing in a Tucson gymnastics competition when she started vomiting and lost all feeling in her legs.
“By her fourth event, she just couldn’t move. She couldn’t walk. She just was exhausted, tired, not feeling well,” Maryann Estrada-Lujan, Annalise’s mother told KVOA.
When her parents took her to the Banner University Medical Center (UMC) in Tucson, Annalise was diagnosed with a stomach bug and sent home. The next night, however, she had her first seizure. Concerned about the health of their daughter, Annalise’s parents took her back to the UMC. Again, she was sent home without further treatment. The next morning her condition deteriorated quickly, with the girl being plagued by more seizures.
As her parents rushed her to the hospital, the 12-year-old fell into a crippling seizure. According to her mom, she was put on life support and was put into an induced coma to save her brain from damage. Two and a half weeks later she was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with an extremely rare epilepsy syndrome called Febrile Infection-Related Epilepsy Syndrome (FIRES).
As noted by Annalise’s dad, only one in a million children will get this syndrome. Experts believe that this little-understood condition occurs after an ordinary cold or stomach virus spreads to the brain or autoimmune system.
It usually starts two weeks after a child has had a mild fever. FIRES then quickly gets worse until patients have seizures continuously, with some children having up to 100 seizures a day. Since these constant seizures can lead to brain injury and death, doctors had to put her into an induced coma.
Annalise came out of the coma after less than 48-hours of CBD treatment
To bring her back to the living, doctors had to find a way to control the seizures. Unfortunately, regular anti-epilepsy drugs don’t work on this extremely rare condition. This prompted Annelise’s mother to research other, alternative ways to save her daughter’s life.
During her search, she stumbled on a cannabis-derived drug, called cannabidiol or CBD oil. Unlike Rick Simpson’s hemp oil, which is known for its cancer-fighting properties, CBD oil has very low levels of THC, which is the substance that creates the cannabis high.
With the substance not being approved at that time and no other route to take, Annalise’s doctors had to rush CBD’s approval through the FDA and DEA. Currently, cannabis for both medical and recreational use is legal in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, California, Maine, and Massachusetts.
Less than 48 hours after her first CBD oil treatment, the 12-year-old was cured of the constant seizures and opened her eyes.
“She opened her eyes, and she was scared. She was afraid. She cried. And, I whispered to her that she was very strong, she’s beautiful, and she’s strong, and she needed to keep breathing, and she did,” Maryann said.
Although Annalise remains in the hospital for further recovery and to regain the cognitive functions she had before, cannabidiol oil has saved this little girl’s life.
The Daily Mail Online reported on a groundbreaking study where scientists at New York University and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital discovered that CBD could reduce convulsive seizures by nearly 50 percent in children under 18 with the Dravet syndrome. Another rare and severe form of epilepsy.
While experts don’t want to call it a cure, because patients must keep taking it daily to prevent seizures, CBD oil offers hope for nearly three million Americans who suffer from epilepsy. For a third of these people, standard epilepsy drugs do not work to control their symptoms. They may even do more harm than good.
Though there is still a lot of controversy surrounding the medical use of marijuana, more people are discovering its amazing healing effects.  Annalise’s family has started a GoFundMe page to raise awareness about the rare condition and the use of CBD oil.

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