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Ontario extends Human Rights Code to protect transgendered people

Revellers take part in the Gay Pride Parade in Toronto, July, 3, 2011.

Mark Blinch/REUTERS

Transgendered people in Ontario will soon have the same protections under the Human Rights Code as everyone else.

Members of all three parties voted to amend the code to add the terms "gender identity" and "gender expression" to prevent discrimination against transgendered people.

New Democrat Cheri DiNovo failed to amend the code with three previous private member's bills, and called today's vote historic.

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Ms. DiNovo says the change simply recognizes transgendered people as humans, but will prevent discrimination when they look for jobs or a place to live.

Ontario is the first majo r jurisdiction in North America to provide human rights protections for transgendered people.

The Northwest Territories passed a similar bill, and Ms. DiNovo says she expects other provinces and American states to soon follow suit.

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