Statement - International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

OTTAWA, May 17, 2017 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is taking action on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation issues. Today, the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues, M.P. Randy Boissonnault, issued the following statement:

"As the world marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), I invite all Canadians to stand up for gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation rights both in Canada and abroad.

Equality, acceptance, and respect begin at home - we need to encourage individuals, families, communities, interest groups, and governments to work together to confront discrimination.

For the Government of Canada, this starts by acknowledging the role of our legislation, programs and policies in the discrimination and injustices faced by LGBTQ2 Canadians. We are committed to apologize in an inclusive and meaningful manner before the end of 2017.

The Government has also taken action by introducing Bill C-16, currently being considered by the Senate, to protect individuals from discrimination and from being the targets of hate propaganda, based on their gender identity or their gender expression. We have also introduced measures to repeal Section 159 of the Criminal Code in order to end its discriminatory impact on same sex sexual activity.

Internationally, Canada is committed to upholding LGBTQ2 rights. We condemn the reported atrocities in Chechnya, and call for the protection of all people whose gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation make them the target of harassment, arrests, torture, and abuse.

Our Government is also very proud to be seeking the co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition, a new inter-governmental network to promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, transgender, and intersex people internationally.   

I encourage all Canadians to embrace diversity and inclusion and take a stand against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. Together, we can make Canada and the world stronger."

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SOURCE Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues

For further information: (media only): Andrew Heffernan, Assistant, Office of the Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 issues, 613-323-1747; Media Relations: Privy Council Office, 613-957-5420

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