Canadian House Of Commons Votes To Make National Anthem More ‘Inclusive’

Amber Randall | Civil Rights Reporter

Canada’s House of Commons voted Wednesday to change the national anthem to a more “inclusive” and “gender neutral” one.

In a 225-74 vote, the House of Commons voted to change the lines of the Canadian national anthem. The second line of the anthem, “true patriot love, in all thy sons command” was changed to be “in all of us command.”

It was supported by the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who has focused on making gender exclusivity a priority since he was elected last October. Trudeau was hailed as the first prime minister to name an equal number of men and women to his cabinet.

Trudeau previously tweeted out support of the bill when it passed a second reading.

Minister of Status of Women of Canada Patty Hajdu told reporters the bill represented a big step forward for inclusiveness in Canada.

“I think it’s really important as a very strong symbol of our commitment to gender equality in this country,” Hajdu said.

Changes to the anthem were proposed back in 2010, but were quickly taken back after public protest. Conservatives opposed the change, saying the public hadn’t been asked for its opinion on the matter.

Mauril Belanger, a Liberal Party of Canada lawmaker, first proposed the change. Last November, Belanger was diagnosed with Amyotorophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is doubtful Belanger will live to see the bill passed into a law, as the disease is usually terminal.

The bill is now headed to the Senate, where it is expected to pass as well.

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