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Statement on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

In recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Federal NDP Leadership Candidate Jagmeet Singh called for increased support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two spirit and Intersex people at home and around the world.

In recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Federal NDP Leadership Candidate Jagmeet Singh called for increased support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two spirit and Intersex people at home and around the world.

On the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, I celebrate the hard work and persistence of LGBTQI2S+ activists who battle homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia, and reaffirm my solidarity with them as they continue the push for human rights. But IDAHOT is not simply a celebration of LGBTQI2S+ communities. It also calls on us to actively combat specific forms of bigotry and discrimination.

Although Canada is a global leader in LGBTQI2S+ rights, and has much to be proud of, we must commit to doing more at home and internationally. In Canada, we must ensure that hard-won rights reflect the needs and aspirations of all LGBTQI2S+ communities, and that every community has equitable access to them without discrimination.

In Canada, too many young LGBTQI2S+ people still face bigotry and violence based on their sexuality and gender expression. In Ottawa, it is well past time for the federal government to make gender identity and gender expression prohibited grounds of discrimination, extend hate-crimes protections to trans and non-binary Canadians, and finally end the discriminatory blood ban against gay men in Canada

Internationally, and often in hostile environments, communities are bravely fighting to educate lawmakers. Just this week, ILGA launched its 2017 State-Sponsored Homophobia report, revealing that 72 countries criminalize consensual, private same-sex sexual activity between adults and that 13 UN member States where the penalty for it is death, either in theory or practice. While the situation in Chechnya becomes more dangerous for LGBTQI2S+ people, our government needs to be doing more to protect the global LGBTQI2S+ community. Canada should be exercising its diplomatic influence and doing more to support local communities and NGOs in their efforts to decriminalize LGBTQI2S+ discrimination and persecution.

We are a kinder and stronger country when we practice active acceptance and inclusion, and embrace the full diversity of human experience and identity. New Democrats believe in social justice. We want to see a country that really, meaningfully welcomes everyone, makes sure that everyone has an opportunity to succeed, and the NDP must be at the forefront of supporting LGBTQI2S+ communities. That is a commitment I am ready to make as Leader of the NDP. 


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