It takes all of us and all levels of government to combat the Rise in Anti-2SLGBTQI Hate. Egale is Canada’s leading organization for 2SLGBTQI people and issues. Their mission is to improve the lives of 2SLGBTQI people in Canada and to enhance the global response to 2SLGBTQI issues. They have recently put our a statement and open letter to all levels of Government in Canada on the responsibility to combat the rise in Anti-2SLGBTQI hate.
We wanted to share it with others, so that we may all raise our voice and call for action. You can view the full statement from Egale here: https://egale.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Statement-governments_combating-anti-2slgbtqi-hate_Egale-2023.pdf
Here are some of their recommendations they have for municipal and federal governments:
Recommendations for Municipal Governments
1) Engage with local 2SLGBTQI communities and with the people organizing 2SLGBTQI events in public spaces like libraries, parks, and community centres. Recognize that 2SLGBTQI people in every single municipality in Canada are affected by the rise in hate.
2) Use your government’s authority to pass bylaws that promote the safety and well-being of residents to create protections for 2SLGBTQI community events, particularly for drag performances. Be aware that large Pride events like annual marches have been the target of threats of violence.
a. Enact a buffer zone for anti-2SLGBTQI protests that keeps them at least 100m away from 2SLGBTQI community spaces and events.
b. Consider enacting a street harassment or similar bylaw to deter harassment based on protected characteristics in public places.
c. Enforce existing bylaws when the municipal right of way is being blocked by protesters.
3) Employ a multi-pronged approach in combatting hate, including through public awareness campaigns on homophobic and transphobic misinformation.
4) Ensure that bylaw enforcement is equitable and proportionate. Counter protesters and people defending their communities should not be punished under laws meant to deter hatred.
Recommendations for the Federal Government
Every level of government is responsible for protecting the people and communities in its jurisdiction. In response to the last several years’ rise in hatred of marginalized groups, the federal government promised to develop a National Action Plan on Combatting Hate. On International Women’s Day 2023, Egale Canada along with hundreds of other
civil society organizations from across the country signed a statement calling on the Government of Canada to ensure the inclusion of trans communities in the National Action Plan on Combatting Hate and to allocate resources to fight transphobic hatred.
In addition to the calls in the statement, we also urge the federal government to:
1) Provide an update on the progress to date and the timeline for launching the National Action Plan on Combatting Hate.
2) Involve 2SLGBTQI and other community organizations in the implementation strategy for the action plan.
3) Allocate funding for 2SLGBTQI and community organizations to support the implementation of the action plan.
For very good reason, members of 2SLGBTQI communities and allies across Canada are afraid, and they are frustrated by the pace of the government response to what is already a dire situation. It’s time for all levels of government in Canada to take action both to counter the rise in anti-trans and anti-2SLGBTQI hate as well as to protect the safety, rights, and freedoms of 2SLGBTQI people and communities.
(Source: Egale https://egale.ca/about/)