Statement in the House of Commons

International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia

May 17, 2016

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to rise today to commemorate the 12 th International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

There is much to celebrate when we think about the progress that has been made in this country and around the world:

From 1979, when Svend Robinson became the first MP to come out as gay, to last week’s election of Geraldine Roman, the first openly transgender person to be elected to  Congress in the Philippines.

I am particularly honoured to pay tribute to the hard work of countless Canadians, including Bill Siksay, former MP for Burnaby-Douglas, and also my colleague, the Member for Esquimault-Saanich-Sooke.  

Your tireless advocacy comes to fruition today, as we applaud the proposed inclusion of gender identity to the Human Rights Code, and to the hate crimes section of the Criminal Code.

And yet, there is still so much to do. There are still too many places where discrimination, persecution and violence are practiced with impunity.

Today, let us pledge to continue to work towards a world where everyone is equal, no matter their race, colour, gender identity or gender expression.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.