Statement on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
May 17, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, today issued the following statement:
“Everyone has the right to feel safe in being their true self and expressing their gender and sexuality freely. The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia gives us an opportunity to reaffirm the equality of LGBTQ2I persons and also strengthen alliances and partnerships. Through education and dialogue, the world has seen progress in recent years. Several countries have taken concrete steps to address stereotypes and prejudices and end discrimination and violence aimed at LGBTQ2I communities.
“Despite progress made, LGBTQ2I persons are still often victims of discrimination and hate crimes based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sexual characteristics. They are murdered, arrested and subjected to violence, including from so-called “conversion therapies,” a discredited practice that attempts to change the sexual orientation, gender identity or expression of LGBTQ2I individuals. Humanitarian crises, such as those resulting from COVID-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, also exacerbate challenges faced by LGBTQ2I communities and threaten the livelihoods, health and safety of their members.
“Canada is a global leader in promoting and protecting the human rights of LGBTQ2I persons. For example, earlier this year, Canada joined a dozen countries that have banned “conversion therapies,” and we recently became the first country to provide census data on transgender and non-binary people. This data will allow governments, service providers, employers and all Canadians to have a better understanding of the needs and realities of this segment of our population.
“LGBTQ2I entrepreneurs are also an important element of Canada’s global Export Diversification Strategy, and Canada negotiates progressive free trade agreements that promote inclusive growth that benefits everyone.
“May 17 is a day on which we unite to help end discrimination and violence against LGBTQ2I persons and remember that all people—without exception—are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
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