OTTAWA – New Democrats are criticizing the Conservatives for failing to participate in the highest level UN meeting ever held on LBGT rights.

“Canada joined Russia, among others, in skipping the meeting of the UNLGBT Core Group yesterday in New York, a meeting attended by high level representatives of eleven nations including US Secretary of State John Kerry," said NDP LGBT spokesperson Randall Garrison (Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca). “When Canada misses meetings like this it begins to look like Foreign Minister Baird's statements in support for LGBT rights are designed more for domestic politics than for actually getting things done to protect LGBT rights at the international level.”

Garrison praised the eleven nation LGBT Core group for its strong declaration pledging to work to protect LGBT rights and to fight to counter homophobic and transphobic attitudes.

“New Democrats have consistently stressed the urgent need for international action on LGBT rights when 76 countries still criminalize consensual adult same-sex relationships,” Garrison said. “We call on the government of Canada to join the UN LGBT Core Group without delay.”