Today we recognize the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. On this day we must stand together to speak out against hatred and discrimination against LGBTQ people in Canada and all over the world. We need to ensure that LGBTQ people live free from fear, harassment and violence.
There is still an urgent need to combat homophobia and transphobia here at home and around the world. In Canada, Transgender and Gender Variant Canadians are still without equal rights and protections, as Bill C-279 remains stuck in the Senate after passing the House of Commons. And in countries around the world, we are seeing steps backwards as governments pass legislation making homosexuality illegal. In Uganda, Cameroon, Russia, Nigeria and Jamaica LGBTQ people are facing lengthy prison sentences, substantial fines, violence and even death.
Today, New Democrats call on all Members of Parliament to take concrete action to eliminate homophobia and transphobia. We call on the government to stand up for the Canadian values of equality and respect. We also call on the Senate to awake from its slumber on human rights and pass Bill C-279 now — so we can ensure the equal rights for all Trans Canadians.