Commission wins an important victory for transsexual persons in Ontario

CNW Group

Toronto – A decision concerning the treatment of transsexual persons detained by police was issued by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario on Tuesday, May 16, 2006. The complainant’s case was referred and argued by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

The complaint centered on the treatment of a transsexual woman who was
strip-searched by Peel Police on several separate occasions. The complainant,
a pre-operative transsexual woman, alleged that she repeatedly asked to have
female officers conduct these searches, but that her requests were denied.
Peel Police policy at the time required a male officer be involved in the
search because the complainant had not yet had sex reassignment surgery.

Finding the previous policy discriminatory, the Tribunal ordered that a
transsexual detainee who is going to be strip-searched must be given three
options: the use of male officers only; the use of female officers only; or a
split search involving both.