Yesterday the Canadian Senate passed a bill that will forever alter national culture: Canada’s national anthem will become entirely gender-neutral.
A private member’s bill that passed with votes from Liberal and independent senators (Conservatives boycotted the decision and basically didn’t vote), the bill will alter one line of the national anthem.
“In all thy sons command” will be substituted with “in all of us command,” making Canada’s national anthem gender-neutral.
Now that the bill has been passed by the Senate, all it needs is royal assent from the Governor General to become law. And since the Governor General rarely (if ever, in modern times) goes against the decisions of the Senate, a gender-neutral anthem is all but a reality.
The most recent push to create a gender-neutral national anthem was from Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger, who died only a few months after the bill was passed in June 2016.
According to CBC, however, there have been twelve different bills introduced to the House of Commons over the years that specifically tried to remove the gendered “sons” from the national anthem.
Conservative politicians are more than a little miffed by the change in lyrics but the move to remove “sons” has some people elated.
Quebec Senator Chantal Petitclerc, once a Paralympian who won 14 gold medals in wheelchair racing, told CBC she was envious of all the athletes who will be competing in Pyeongchang and get to sing a more inclusive gender neutral anthem.