Statement by Official Opposition LGTB critic Randall Garrison (Esquimalt–Juan de Fuca) on International Day Against Homophobia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2013

It was only 23 years ago today that homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Diseases.

Today, on the International Day Against Homophobia, New Democrats are proud to stand in solidarity with the LGBT(Q) community here at home and abroad as we renew our commitment to speaking out against discrimination, prejudice and violence.

Although we’ve made great strides in Canada, there is still much work to be done to eliminate the hostility and ostracism that members of the LGBT(Q) community face in this country and around the world. In many countries, being homosexual is sadly still a crime and rates of cyberhomophobia are on the rise.

New Democrats are proud of our record of recognizing the right of every Canadian to live free from fear of persecution regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has been a strong advocate for gay and transgender rights, working to strengthen Quebec Charter protections for gays and lesbians. Svend Robinson, Canada’s first openly gay MP, introduced a bill that extended hate crimes protection to gays and lesbians. In March, the NDP bill to make violence against transgender Canadians a hate crime passed in the House of Commons.

New Democrats are committed to ensuring equality, diversity and understanding among all people. We will continue to work towards the day when the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual people are recognized around the world—and the simple act of being who you are is no longer considered “brave.”