by Morinville News Staff
Thursday marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and political parties issued a variety of statements to mark the awareness day. The first awareness day was held in 2005.
Provincially, Premier Rachel Notley issued a statement, saying, “Homosexual, trans and bisexual Albertans are more likely to be bullied, experience domestic and other forms of violence, and consider or attempt suicide than Albertans not part of sexual and gender minorities.
“They are also our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, parents and grandparents, friends and loved ones,” the Premier said.
“It matters how we treat each other. No one deserves to be discriminated against, denied basic services or to lose their life because of who they are or whom they love.”
Federally, both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Karen Vecchio, Conservative Shadow Minister for Families, Children and Social Development issued statements.
Trudeau called for a world free of stigma, persecution, and discrimination.
“Everyone deserves the same rights and opportunities in life no matter who they love or how they identify,” the Prime Minister said, adding this year’s theme is Alliances for Solidarity. “Change may start with an individual, but progress is paved when people stand together, proud and strong. Thanks to the brave and tireless efforts of LGBTQ2 advocates and allies alike, Canada is a more just, compassionate country – but we still have a ways to go.”
The Prime Minister went on to say the Government of Canada over the last year has been working with Member of Parliament Randy Boissonnault, Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 issues, who has taken many important steps to recognize and protect the rights of LGBTQ2 individuals.
“Last June, we passed legislation that provides Canadians with explicit protection from discrimination and hate crimes based on their gender identity or expression,” Trudeau said. “A few months later, we apologized to those harmed by federal legislation, policies, and practices that led to the oppression of and discrimination against LGBTQ2 people in Canada.”
Federal Conservative Karen Vecchio said the world had come a long way in fighting discrimination against people simply because of their sexual orientation or gender.
“But too many still face prejudice and even violence because of who they are,” Vecchio said. “That is never OK. Hard work has been done over generations to ensure Canada remains a champion of justice, human rights, and liberty.”
Vecchio said Canada can and must do more to stand up for the LGBTQ2 community in those parts of the world that do not protect basic human rights, including Iran and Russia.
“Canada can be a place of refuge for those seeking shelter from that persecution,” Vecchio said. “It is important that we remain so.
As of publication time, UCP Leader Jason Kenney had released no formal statement on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
If a statement is released from the UCP and other parties, we will add excerpts to this story.