It seems like only the NDP bothered to put out a release on International Day Against Homophobia. Sure, the Bloc gave it a shout out in the House on Friday (unlike any other party), but no one else put out a release today.
The NDP release reads as follows:
On this International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, New Democrats stand in solidarity with members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, trangender and transexual (GLBTT) communities in the movement to transform our society to one free of homophobic and transphobic prejudice and violence.
“New Democrats have long supported the full equality and security of GLBTT people, here in Canada and around the world. That's why we've placed trans rights firmly on Parliament's agenda with our bill to add gender identity and expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act, and to the hate crime and sentencing provisions of the Criminal Code. It's also why we sponsored a motion that received unanimous support in the House of Commons denouncing the ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’ being considered by the Ugandan Parliament,” said Bill Siksay, New Democrat Critic for GLBTT Issues.
Siksay's Private Members Bill (C-389), which would establish full and explicit human rights protection for transsexual and transgender Canadians, was debated on May 10th and will likely come to a vote in the House in June.
“Observances like International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia give us the opportunity to take stock of our progress, and recommit to a country and world where acceptance is the reality and violence and hatred are not tolerated,” added New Democrat Leader Jack Layton.
That said, is it just me or has the focus on homophobia pretty much entirely shifted to transphobia? Sorry, but homophobia is still very much alive and well in this country, and just because there’s some integration in major urban centres it doesn’t mean we can ignore it in our own backyards, and just drop mention of practices in places like Uganda. We just had an incident in Edmonton where the police didn’t even respond to a bashing until five days later. This is still an issue here, and homophobia didn’t disappear with same-sex marriage. For none of the parties to mention anything is a problem.
Update: The Liberals released their own statement after my post went up at 5 pm. It reads as follows:
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff made the following statement today:
“On May 17, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we recognize the persistence of homophobia and transphobia in our own communities, and we renew our pledge to build a future where every person—in Canada and around the world—can live and go to school without fear.
“We are proud of the diversity and tolerance that define us as a country. Recent achievements in the fight for equality have brought us together in mutual respect.
“Today, we recall our shared pride when a Liberal government passed the Civil Marriage Act (Bill C-38), which received Royal Assent on July 20th, 2005, and marriage equality became the law of the land – overcoming vocal opposition from the Conservative party.
“Our work is not yet finished. More than four decades after Pierre Trudeau removed homosexuality from the criminal code, too many of our fellow Canadians still live with fear and intimidation because of who they are, and too often, public policy is susceptible to the ideology of the government of the day, as we’ve witnessed with the Conservatives’ recent funding cuts to gay pride organizations across Canada.
“Together, we will continue to work for the day when hatred and violence have no quarter, in our country or any other. And on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we stand with members of the LGBT community, and all Canadians, in defence of equality.”