OTTAWA - A bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against transgender Canadians has been approved by the House of Commons.
The Opposition private member's legislation passed by a vote of 149-137, with crucial support from 16 Conservatives, including four cabinet ministers.
The vast majority of Tories, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and most of his front bench, voted against it.
A number of Tories have expressed reservations about the bill's impact and effectiveness.
Some social conservative groups urged MPs to reject the legislation, saying it could protect pedophiles who lurked in opposite sex bathrooms.
However, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal urged approval of the bill, arguing that while some transgender Canadians can fight discrimination on the basis of sex and disability, it would be better to have explicit protection for them.