Transsexual loses battle in top court to help at rape clinic – SHANNON RUPP

Vancouver – The Supreme Court of Canada has denied a transsexual woman a hearing on her 12-year-old case against Vancouver Rape Relief, a non-profit feminist group that provides a crisis line and transition house run by volunteers.

Kimberly Nixon was suing for the right to volunteer as a Rape Relief counsellor. Costs were awarded to the women’s group.

Ms. Nixon was not available for comment, but her lawyer, barbara findlay, (who uses only lower case letters in her name) called the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case a disappointment.

“In effect, they have let the Court of Appeals decision — that says it is all right to discriminate — stand,” Ms. findlay said. “But it doesn’t diminish our determination that, ultimately, all services accessible to women, will be accessible to trans-women.”
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The case began in August, 1995, when Ms. Nixon, who had a sex-change operation in 1990, answered a Rape Relief ad for women interested in training to be volunteer counsellors. The women-only organization provides “peer” counselling. The organization defines “peers” as women who have always experienced the world as a female. Ms. Nixon was asked to leave the workshop; the next day, she filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.