Statement on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia


May 17, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, and the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, today issued the following statement: 

“On this International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, Canada stands with members of the LGBTQ2 communities, at home and abroad, to reaffirm their fundamental right to be treated equally, and with dignity and respect. No one should be subjected to discrimination or violence based on sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

“In addition to our work at home to advance LGBTQ2 rights, Canada continues to be a global leader in defending these rights by making them a central pillar of its foreign policy and through multilateral organizations, such as the Equal Rights Coalition – the first intergovernmental coalition promoting LGBTQ2 rights, globally.

“Canada also seeks inclusive and gender-responsive provisions in its free trade agreements so that they benefit all Canadians, including LGBTQ2 people. For the first time in a trade agreement, the labour chapter of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement includes a provision clarifying that the enforceable obligation related to discrimination in the workplace includes discrimination on the basis of gender, gender identity and sexual orientation.

“Canada also promotes the advancement of human rights and the improvement of socio-economic outcomes for LGBTQ2 people around the world. In line with Canada’s first-ever Feminist International Assistance Policy, our efforts are based on the specific and real life experiences and needs of local LGBTQ2 communities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on LGBTQ2 people, and we must ensure that such vulnerable and marginalized communities are not attacked and discriminated against under the cover of public health. We condemn the hate speech directed towards them in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today, and every day, we must stand up strongly for the rights of LGBTQ2 people in Canada and around the world, and speak out against intolerance and discrimination wherever it may occur.”

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