Premier’s, parliamentary secretary’s statements on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

May 17, 2024 at 7:47 am  BC, News, Politics

Premier David Eby has issued the following statement marking International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia:

“On the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we affirm that hate and discrimination have no place in British Columbia. Our diversity strengthens us, and our province is made better when everyone is welcome and valued.

“While 2SLGBTQIA+ people have made tremendous gains over the past few decades, these hard-fought rights are at risk, within Canada and outside our borders.

“More than 60 countries still criminalize same-sex relationships with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment and death. In some parts of Canada, transgender communities have faced increasingly regressive policies that put 2SLGBTQIA+ youth and their families at risk of violence and discrimination.

“As a result of hate and intolerance, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and non-binary youth are at greater risk of bullying and mental-health challenges, including thoughts of suicide.

“We believe all students deserve to be respected in a safe learning environment, while being fully and completely themselves. This is why our government is committed to anti-bullying programs such as SOGI123, which for almost 20 years has helped teachers and support staff make schools safe for all students.

“We are also continuing to fund equal access to health care for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, modernizing provincial laws to remove outdated language and providing financial support to 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations through the Anti-Hate Community Support Fund.

“As an ally, I stand with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. Everyone deserves to live without fear of violence or discrimination. Let’s all stand strong against threats, hate and violence toward 2SLGBTQIA+ people. Our province is stronger when we work together and eliminate hate.”

Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, said:

“The International Day Against Transphobia, Homophobia and Biphobia is an important reminder that all people should be safe and treated with respect and inclusion. Far too many people face discrimination, barriers, and even violence, just for being themselves.

“It is the diversity of our province that makes us strong. So many 2SLGBTQIA+ people in our communities bring strength and leadership to our province. While we work to tackle discrimination and remove barriers, we also celebrate the contributions of those who are making a difference.

“Ending homophobia, transphobia and biphobia involves making it clear that people of every gender and every sexuality are welcome in our province.

“This is more than a goal, it is a commitment because each of us should have equal opportunities to succeed in life and to feel safe to live as who we are on this day and every day.

“I’d like to acknowledge and join all members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, their families and friends, and community partners who advocate for a safer, inclusive province for everyone.”

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