May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia | National Union of Public and General Employees

May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia

'The effort to end homophobia cannot be separated from the struggle to extend respect and dignity to all human beings everywhere.' - James Clancy, NUPGE national president.

Ottawa (13 May 2009) - International Day Against Homophobia will be observed across Canada and around the world on May 17 – this Sunday. The occasion presents an annual opportunity to rally citizens everywhere against all forms of homophobia.

The theme for the 2009 celebration is Homosexuality Knows No Borders. The goal is to make the general population, especially ethnocultural communities of all backgrounds, more aware of gay and lesbian issues, and also of issues related to sexual diversity.

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is pleased to join in celebrating this event and encourages all members to show their support in their local areas.

"The effort to end homophobia cannot be separated from the struggle to extend respect and dignity to human beings everywhere," says NUPGE national president James Clancy.

"As a union, we must never stop working to ensure that all of our members, including those from the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GBLT) community, enjoy the same rights, respect and dignity as other workers. The trade union movement must always strive to create a better world for everyone," Clancy says.

"NUPGE stands in solidarity with all GBLT members and GLBT communities. Much work still remains to be done to change negative and discriminatory attitudes that continue to exist in our society."

For example, a recent survey revealed that more than two thirds of Canadian high school students who identify themselves as homosexual, bisexual, or transgendered feel unsafe at school. One quarter of the respondents reported physical threats because of their sexual orientation. Over half said they had been verbally harassed.

On May 17 in 1991 the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE