May 17th, 2015

Statement by the NDP on International Day Against Homophobia

NDP LGBT critic Randall Garrison (Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca) made the following statement today on International Day Against Homophobia:

“Today, Canadians are standing together to say no to homophobia and transphobia in our local communities, both here in Canada and around the world.

“Members of the LGBTQ community remain vulnerable to hate and violence in their daily lives. Rates of hate crimes perpetuated against LGBTQ people are not dropping and these crimes are still much more likely to be violent than hate crimes against other groups. Outside Canada we are seeing increasing numbers of countries criminalizing the love and relationships of their LGBTQ citizens, which wrongly legitimizes discrimination and violence against them.

“The largest gap in human rights protection for LGBTQ Canadians remains the federal failure to provide equal protection to transgender and gender variant Canadians. There has been some progress at the provincial level since Bill C-279 was introduced in the House of Commons in 2011. Only seven out of ten provinces now provide protection from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression in their provincial human rights codes. Yet at the national level Bill C-279 remains stalled in the Senate – more than two years after its passage in the House of Commons.

“The Senate needs to respect the will of our elected representatives and pass Bill C-279 without delay and without the transphobic amendments the Conservatives are attempting to add. Stalling this important legislation leaves people’s lives in danger each and every day. Now is the time to ensure that transgender and gender variant Canadians have the same rights and protections all other Canadians already enjoy.

“While there is a long way to go in the fight against homophobia and transphobia, today the NDP is joining with the LGBTQ community and all Canadians to celebrate the strength, resiliency and contributions of our community in the face of violence and discrimination.”