International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
By: Charlotte Hui
Yesterday, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business, and Economic Development, stated everyone has the right to be who they are and feel safe expressing their sexual orientation.
“May 17 is a day on which we unite to help end discrimination and violence against LGBTQ2I persons and remember that all people—without exception—are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” the statement said.
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia gives people a chance to reaffirm The equality of LGBTQ2I people and take steps to tackle stereotypes, prejudice, and violence.
While there has been some progress toward equality for LGBTQ2Is, they continue to be victims of discrimination and hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression of sexual characteristics. They are murdered, arrested, and subjected to violence, or so-called conversion therapy, a humanitarian crisis.
Canada has made great efforts to protect and develop the human rights of LGBTQ2I. Canada banned “conversion therapy” and became the first country to provide transgender and non-binary census data. This data will help all Canadians better understand the needs and realities of LGBTQ2I people.
At the same time, Minister Ng stated that every Canadian should be treated equally and with respect and be free to live safe and healthy lives without discrimination no matter who they love.