The LGBT community in the United States is worried President Donald Trump's latest executive order could impact their rights. That on a day Canada moved a little closer to enshrining transgender rights.

Bill C-16, an Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, is known as the Transgender Rights Bill.  It was introduced by Canada's Justice Minister and is seen by the transgender community as an historical step forward.  The bill is in Second Reading and today was before the Standing Senate committee on legal and Constitutional Affairs.  Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould appeared before the committee today, along with several interested parties, including the Schaettgen family from the Ottawa area.

9-year-old Warner Schaettgen and her family have come a long way since they first told their story to CTV news back in 2014. Warner, then 7, was born a boy, but told her parents early on she was in the wrong body. That revelation resulted in bullying and threats for all of them.

“We've had people say horrible things about us,” Warner’s mother Melissa told reporters outside the Senate Committee this morning, “I have been attacked as a mother, and people have accused me of abusing my child for accepting this.”

It has also led them here, to Parliament Hill to talk about gender identify.

“I think it's an honor,” Warner adds, “a really big one to be here today.”

Canada's Justice Minister introduced Bill C-16 last May.  It would add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.

It’s okay to be who you are and we, as a country, need to support the free expression of individuals,” Wilson-Raybould told reporters.

Those supporting the bill say this legislation is more important now than ever.  Kimberley Manning is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Concordia University and a mother to 11-year-old Florence, who was born a boy but identifies as a girl.

“The kind of hate that's coming out through legislation in the United States,” says Manning, “particularly targeting transgender people, that reinforces the potential for hate here north of border.”

“If this bill can be passed,” adds Florence, “those people can finally have a chance to stop what has been happening to them.”

But, some Senators at the hearing question the need to add gender expression to our Human Rights Act.

Conservative Senator Don Plett told reporters, “Expression is how you comb your hair, what kind of suit I’m wearing. Gender expression isn't an identifiable group.”

The Schaettgens will continue the fight to pass Bill C16.  Warner's twin Emery, who has always stuck up for his sister, after years of bullying, says the bill is just too important.

“I think it's going to stop people from bullying her.”

The Justice Minister says as part of this legislation, the government is currently looking at a third gender designation; another "box" so to speak, besides just male and female for documents such as passports.