International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

May 17, 2013

In recent years we have made significant gains in terms of legal rights and protections for LGBTQ people in Canada. We have won the right to same-sex marriage, protection for sexual orientation under hate crimes legislation, and significantly increased public support for equality.

This spring, after trying for years, NDP MP Randall Garrison was successful in passing his Private Member’s Bill C-279 through the House of Commons. This legislation, once passed by the Senate, will enshrine equal protections for transgender, transsexual and gender-variant people under the Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code.

These are important victories but challenges still remain in terms of social rights, economic equality, freedom from violence and the right to live and work safely and with dignity. We have all seen the devastating impacts of homophobic bullying in our schools. Many workers in our province still face the reality of homophobia or transphobia in their daily lives. Trans people in particular tend to experience significant harassment and discrimination in employment, housing and access to services.

Today, on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, MoveUP celebrates the achievements we have made in Canada and we re-confirm our commitment to fighting all forms of discrimination.

There are simple things each of us can do to help create a positive, safe space: support co-workers who face homophobia or transphobia on the job, speak out when you hear someone using homophobic or transphobic language, and make attempts to attend Pride events this summer and other types of rallies against violence and discrimination taking place in your communities. Take a minute to learn about the situation facing LGBT people around the world and the work being done by organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International against the criminalization and punishment of homosexuality in other countries.

MoveUP stands in solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer communities as we continue the fight against homophobia and transphobia in our workplaces, province and around the world.