Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued on May 17, 2017 the following statement on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia:
Today marks #IDAHOT – the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
No matter who we love or how we identify, all of us deserve to feel safe and secure, live free from discrimination and persecution, and express ourselves fully.
Today – and every day – I join Canadians to support gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation rights for people in Canada and around the world, and to challenge stigma, violence, and prejudices wherever they occur.
Through measures including Bills C-16 and C-39 – and with the help of Member of Parliament Randy Boissonnault, Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 issues – our Government continues to work to make sure transgender and other gender-diverse people, as well as people of diverse sexual orientations, can live freely and fully according to their identity.
Canada will seek to co-chair the Equal Rights Coalition, to provide leadership within the new inter-governmental network to protect and promote the rights of lesbian, gay, transgender, and intersex people around the world.
In Canada and around the world, we must continue to fight against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia, and to defend gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation rights.
We deplore the recent, reprehensible reports of violations of the human rights of gay and bisexual men in Chechnya. We call for the protection of all people in Chechnya whose sexual orientation makes them a target for persecution. Human rights have no borders.
Today, I ask Canadians and people around the world to fight hatred, honour love, and defend human rights for everyone. Together, we can build a world where all of us are free to be who we are and love who we love.
Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement:
Over the past 50 years, Canada has taken important steps to recognize the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. The elimination in 1969 of laws regulating consensual same-sex conduct, the 1995 inclusion in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms of sexual orientation as a prohibited ground for discrimination and the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2005 stand out as milestone victories in the pursuit of equal rights for all Canadians. Most recently, in May 2016, the Government of Canada introduced legislation to protect transgender Canadians and prevent discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
While other countries have taken similar progressive steps, too many have not; relatively few countries recognize same-sex relationships or provide legal protection from discrimination, more than 70 countries criminalize same-sex relations, and six countries impose the death penalty.
Just last month, the world learned that gay and bisexual men in Chechnya were being arbitrarily detained, tortured and killed. We deplore these reprehensible reports and call for the protection of all persons in Chechnya whose sexual orientation makes them a target for harassment.
Those who demean the LGBTI community must understand that diversity and inclusion are drivers of progress and prosperity. Recognizing equal rights is vital for any society to reach its full potential. That is why we are proud to be seeking to co-chair the Equal Rights Coalition, a network of 33 governments committed to promoting and protecting the rights of LGBTI people around the world, through which Canada will be able to provide greater leadership and expertise in this area.
On International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Canada stands with all LGBTI persons to condemn discrimination in every form. We must and will continue to raise LGBTI rights whenever and wherever necessary, reminding those who discriminate that human rights are universal and indivisible and apply equally to all human beings.