The Canadian Senate has voted today to rewrite part of its national anthem to be gender neutral. The line in question currently reads: “True patriot in all thy sons command” and will be replaced with “True patriot in all of us command.” Liberal MP Mauril Belanger proposed the change in a private members bill before his death in 2016.
Many progressives in the country have praised the change, noting that before ‘O Canada’ became the official anthem in 1980 the lyrics were “thou dost in us command.” Independent Senator Frances Lankin, who sponsored the bill, said “This may be small, it’s about two words, but it’s huge… we can now sing it with pride knowing the law will support us in terms of the language. I’m proud to be part of the group that made this happen.”
Conservatives against the change argued it should be put to a referendum. “Clearly I’m disappointed,” Senator Don Plett said, “I believe the Canadian public wanted a say in our national anthem, just like they had in the great Canadian flag debate. This is an issue for the Canadian public to decide not just a couple of Independent senators.”
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