Randall Garrison, NDP critic for SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression), issued the following statement:
May 17 marks the 16th Annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. This day calls for an end to the violence, hatred, and discrimination directed toward members of the SOGIE community around the world.
We proudly celebrate equal rights and protections for SOGIE Canadians but there is still an urgent need to continue working towards eliminating homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia here at home. The practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ is misguided and cruel. Banning it is long overdue. The barriers that trans and gender diverse people encounter in obtaining equal access to health services have been emphasized and heightened during this global COVID-19 pandemic and must be brought down. We must also eliminate the ongoing gay blood ban which reinforces homophobia.
Around the world, more than 70 countries continue to criminalize homosexuality. People are facing imprisonment and death just for loving who they love. The lives of SOGIE refugees are at risk. We can and must do better to implement a path to safety for them in Canada.
New Democrats call on the government to stand up for the Canadian values of inclusion, equality, and respect.
We lift our voices in solidarity with members of the SOGIE community everywhere to denounce the hatred and violence they encounter simply for being themselves, and we recommit to breaking down the obstacles that threaten our human rights, here and around the world.