On the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (May 17th), PSAC is united with LGBTQ2+ workers around the world in calling for an end to oppression and discrimination of gender and sexual minorities.
Two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people continue to face persecution across the globe. According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), there are currently 70 countries where ‘homosexuality’ is illegal in some form, and in six UN Member States it is punishable by death.
Brunei is the most recent country to make headlines on this issue. In April, the country’s lawmakers determined that sex between women in Brunei would carry a penalty of 40 strokes of the cane and/or up to 10 years in jail, and sex between men would be punishable by stoning to death.
Thanks to international pressure, the country has since walked back its stance on this. Brunei announced earlier this month that they have reconsidered the use of the death penalty, however LGBTQ2+ citizens could still be arrested, be charged, and face jail time or other forms of punishment. The situation in Brunei is an excellent example of how important international solidarity is in achieving progressive change.
Here at home
In Canada, many queer and trans people continue to face discrimination and harassment at work and in their daily lives.
According to a 2015 study, 47% of LGB workers and 90% of trans workers report experiencing workplace harassment and/or violence targeted at their sexual orientation or gender expression.
And some queer men, trans women and non-binary people are still banned from donating blood, bone marrow and organs. The Trudeau Liberals campaigned on ending the discriminatory ban but failed to fully deliver. The ban remains for those who have engaged in specific sexual practices within the last year.
PSAC takes action!
PSAC is committed to creating inclusive workplaces across our nation for all our members. We plan to do this by educating our members and equipping stewards with the necessary tools to support LGBTQ2+ workers.
This year, we are focusing on building trans inclusion. PSAC has released a series of resources on Building Trans Inclusive Workplaces.
Also, help PSAC push for this government to respect LGBTQ2+ Canadians and develop criteria for blood, bone marrow and organ donations that is based on evidence rather than gender and sexual orientation.
On May 17th, let’s all pledge to re-commit to act for LGBTQ2+ rights.