Suicide of Tyler Clementi
1 min

Spirit Day on the Hill

On Spirit Day, recognising those queer teens who committed suicide because of bullying, the NDP put out the following statement:

Today, New Democrats stand in solidarity with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transexual (GLBTT) youth to recognize Spirit Day and honour those LGBTT youth who recently committed suicide due to bullying and harassment.

“We must act to end to bullying and discrimination against GLBTT youth, and stand in solidarity with them, their friends, families and allies in this important struggle,” said New Democrat Leader Jack Layton. “Wearing purple on October 20th is just one way we can show support for them and raise awareness of the serious situations many of our GLBTT youth are facing.”

“GLBTT youth often face persecution or bullying, prompting them to attempt suicide, drop out of school or leave their families. Many still suffer serious depression,” said Bill Siksay (Burnaby-Douglas) New Democrat Critic for GLBTT issues. “That’s why Spirit Day is so important. It serves to draw attention to bullying and intolerance and to reflect on those that have been severely hurt or died just because they were GLBTT.”

Some of the Canadian and American youth we remember today are: Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase, Asher Brown, Cody J. Barker, Harrison Chase Brown, Caleb Nolt, Billy Lucas, Jeanine Blanchette, and Chantal Dube.

New Democrats have been at the forefront promoting full equality and acceptance of GLBTT people both here in Canada and around the world. Siksay’s Private Member’s Bill C-389 has passed 2nd reading and would establish full and explicit human rights protection for transsexual and transgender Canadians.

"Spirit Day allows us to work together to ensure that life gets better for GLBTT youth here in Canada and around the world,” concluded Siksay.

While the Liberals haven’t put out an official statement, Michael Ignatieff did post this on his Twitter feed.

Other MPs did wear purple, some of which can be seen here.

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