May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, and the Public Service Alliance of Canada stands in solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans and queer communities.
Respect in the workplace is essential. PSAC is there to support our members who face the hostility, homophobia or transphobia that can sometimes occur in the workplace. We are also engaged in bargaining collective agreements that meet the particular needs of our LGBT members, and we continue to work to better protect the human rights of trans people.
Transsexual and transgender people are among the most marginalized in our society. Too many encounter obstacles and barriers in housing, employment and services. They also face extreme violence, prejudice and hate, which have sadly resulted in high rates of suicide.
For several years, we’ve been advocating that the federal government formally prohibit discrimination against transgender and transsexual people. In March 2013, a historic vote in the House of Commons passed Bill C-279, which would add gender identity and gender expression to the list of legally-prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act and in the sentencing and hate crime provisions of the Criminal Code. Unfortunately, the Bill has been stalled in the Senate and still has not become law.
We are also developing a positive spaces campaign that will include tools activists can use to promote respect and inclusion of all LGBT members in their workplaces.
Through our mobilizations for pride events across the country, our work at the bargaining tables and our lobby for changes in laws and policies, PSAC remains a staunch ally of the LGBT communities everywhere across the country. Pride and solidarity makes us stronger!