Vancouver – The following is a statement from Irene Lanzinger, president of the BC Federation of Labour, regarding Pride events in British Columbia:
“Pride Season is in full swing and events have been taking place across the province that celebrate our diversity and continue to raise awareness of the struggle for recognition, rights, and respect for the LGBTQ2*+ community.
The BC Federation of Labour has proudly participated in many of these events, adding our voice to the vision of a truly inclusive province.
There is much to celebrate this Pride season – the movement is growing and we are seeing important victories take root.
On July 27, we finally witnessed the passing of legislation to amend the Human Rights Code of BC to include the protection against discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression. After five years of efforts on the part of NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, who first tabled the legislation May 26th of 2011, we are relieved to see the BC government take this long-overdue action.
And now we must turn our focus to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to pass federal legislation amending the Human Rights Code of Canada to include protections against discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression.
But even as we celebrate our legal wins, we must not lose sight of the very real impact of ongoing homophobia and transphobia experienced every day by people in the LGBTQ2*+ community.
The shocking hate crime committed at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in June, which killed 49 people because of their sexual orientation or identity, is a devastating reminder of the struggle still ahead.
It is a reminder that we need to win in the courts and in the streets.
It is a reminder that we must continue to have conversations about the right for all human beings to be treated with dignity and respect.
And we must challenge homophobia and transphobia in every classroom, every workplace, every street corner, and every home.
The BC Federation of Labour is a partner in this effort.
We are committed to working with the LGBTQ2*+ community to achieve equity in law, in our communities, and in workplaces, and to solidify a culture of inclusivity in our province."