Vancouver trans advocate wins discrimination lawsuit
Morgane Oger applauds during an announcement at the Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C. Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward)
VANCOUVER - A Vancouver trans woman who made a human rights complaint about a poster campaign that called transgenderism an “impossibility” has won her case.
Morgane Oger ran as an NDP candidate in the 2017 British Columbia election.
In a ruling released Wednesday, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal says Christian activist William Whatcott resolved to stop her from being elected solely because she is transgender and without researching her platform or policies.
It says Whatcott created and distributed 1,500 flyers calling Oger a “biological male who has renamed himself ... after he embraced a transvestite lifestyle.”
Whatcott expressed concern about the promotion and growth of “homosexuality and transvestitism” and described being transgender as an “impossibility” that constitutes a sin.
The three-member panel found Whatcott's conduct violated the Human Rights Code because it was discriminatory and likely to expose Oger and other transgender people to hatred or contempt.
It ordered Whatcott to pay Oger $55,000 in costs and compensation.
Panelist Devyn Cousineau writes in the ruling that the discrimination against Oger was severe, intentional and designed to interfere in her participation in political life.
“It drew on the most insidious stereotypes and myths about transgender people and called on the electorate to conclude that Ms. Oger was, by sole virtue of her gender identity, unsuitable for public office,” the decision says.
“I have concluded that the effect of the flyer was to expose Ms. Oger to hatred and contempt. This is unquestionably a serious and damaging form of discrimination.”