National Union urges all Canadians to join in struggle to end violence and discrimination against transgender people.
Toronto (20 Nov. 2014) — This year, on November 20, we are marking the 14th Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance. The day serves to memorialize those trans people who have died due to anti-trans sentiments and prejudice, and reminds us of the horrific hate crimes directed toward trans people both at home and around the world.
"Violence and discrimination against trans people must end," said James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "This November 20, the National Union is continuing our commitment to the struggle for full equality and respect for trans people. In particular, we will be financially supporting Egale Canada in their work to expand and defend the rights of trans people."
To find an International Transgender Day of Remembrance event near you go here.
The violence must end!
According to the Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project, there was 265 transphobic murders worldwide from November 15, 2011 to November 14, 2012, a significant increase from years past. In Canada, we know that 20 per cent of trans people have been physically or sexually assaulted because they are trans. A further 34 per cent have experienced verbal harassment or threats because they are transgendered.
According to Clancy,"The statistics are horrifying. We must put an end to this heinous violence."
The National Union is calling on the federal government to pass Bill C-279, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity). "It is time that “gender identity” be added to the Canadian Human Rights Code and the hate crime sentencing provisions of the Criminal Code," said Clancy.
Fittingly, the bill comes up for debate in the Justice and Human Rights Committee on this Day of Remembrance. NUPGE joins Egale Canada and other human rights organizations in calling on all Canadians to urge their senators to support the bill.
Day arose out of a tragedy
Started as a web-based project and candle light vigil in San Francisco by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, the International Transgender Day of Remembrance began as “Remembering Our Dead.” It was originally created to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28, 1998 has yet to be solved. The International Transgender Day of Remembrance is now recognized in over 185 cities and more than 20 countries.
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