Impact of Bill C-50 on LGBT Immigrants and Refugees to be Explored During Pride Week

    TORONTO, June 11 /CNW/ - Canada is one of the top three countries in the
world that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual/transgender (LGBT) people come
to looking for asylum. Often fleeing violence and persecution in their home
countries, LGBT immigrants and refugees view Canada as a safe-haven where
diversity and tolerance are viewed as the norm.
    In commemoration of World Refugee Day, the 519 Church Street Community
Centre is hosting Refugee Pride on June 20th from 6:30 to 8:00pm. The event
will feature a forum to discuss the federal government's changes to the
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Bill C-50) and its impact on LGBT
refugees in Toronto. Guest speaker's including EGALE's Helen Kennedy, human
rights activist El-Farouk Khaki, and film director Leo Zuniga will present
their views on the controversial new changes to Canada's immigration and
refugee policies for LGBT people. Volunteers and members of the 519's peer
refugee support group will offer insight into how changes in the legislation
may affect their communities.
    "We're excited to provide a forum for LGBT refugees and immigrants to
celebrate Pride while learning about how changes in the laws may affect them,"
says the 519s Diego Macias, Among Friends Volunteer Coordinator of the
Centre's Immigrant and Refugee Project. "It is often very difficult to
navigate a new country and we are extremely happy to launch our Among Friends
LGBT Resource Manual, at Refugee Pride, which offers resources for immigrants
and refugees settling in the city."
    In addition to the panel, Leo Zuniga's Short Film "Seeking Conclusion!"
will be screened which follows a young gay man's struggle to learn the outcome
of his immigration claim. The event will be held at the 519 Church Street
Community Centre and is free and open to the public.

For further information:

For further information: Eric Berndt, Manager, Resource Development and
Communications, The 519 Church Street Community Centre, 519 Church Street,
Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9, Tel: (416) 355-6777, Email:

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The 519 Church Street Community Centre

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