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Public Service Alliance of Canada makes pro-gay pitch

Online petition calls on Harper to protect trans people, queer refugees

Sharleen Patterson attended the PSAC National Pride conference in March. Credit: Photo by Rob Salerno

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the union representing federal civil servants, unveiled a letter-writing campaign calling on the Harper government to take action on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans rights at its National Pride conference in Toronto on March 28.

PSAC is a union representing more than 166,000 workers, mostly in the federal public service but also including workers in the private sector, shelters and universities.

“Since taking power in 2006, the Harper government has attempted to undermine the lesbian, gay, bi and trans community’s hard-fought struggle for equality and human rights,” reads the preamble to the PSAC letter.

The letter can be found on the PSAC website and makes a five-point pitch for queer rights in Canada.

It demands that the Harper government restore funding for the Court Challenges Program, which, until it was cancelled in 2006, provided grants to minority groups to pay for Charter challenges to protect equality rights.

It demands that the citizenship guide be rewritten to make mention of gays in Canada.

The letter calls on the government to include gender identity and expression as protected grounds under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

It also criticizes the government for appointing gay-rights opponents to key government positions.

“It’s timely,” says Terry Fanning, a PSAC regional vice-president. “There are ramifications down the road for these policies.”

Find the PSAC letter at petition.web.net/psac/node/37