OTTAWA—Liberal Leader Bob Rae made the following statement today on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia:
“On May 17, we mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, celebrating the progress that has been made by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Two Spirit and Queer (LGBTTQ) community in the struggle for equality and acceptance, and renewing our commitment to end discrimination and violence against LGBTTQ persons in Canada and around the world.
Here at home, the LGBTTQ community has made great strides, from the decriminalization of homosexuality in the 1960s, to the introduction of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which enshrines equality rights, to the passage of the same-sex marriage law in 2005. And while today our children are growing up in a Canada that is more tolerant of diversity than ever before, we know that nearly two thirds of LGBTTQ students in Canada report that they feel unsafe at school, and homophobic and transphobic language is still common parlance in our school yards. It is clear that there remains much work to be done to ensure peoples’ acceptance regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We need to move from simple tolerance to celebration.
On the international stage, Canada must be a champion of equality and the fight against homophobia and transphobia, and set a standard in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms abroad.
The Liberal Party will continue to work for the day when prejudice and violence have no place in our country or any other. And on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we stand with the LGBTTQ community and all Canadians, as agents of change, in defence of equality and diversity.”