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Ottawa celebrates eleventh International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia – Capital Current

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Local and national leaders commemorated International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia on Friday.

The theme this year was: “No one left behind: Equality, justice and freedom for all.”

May 17 was chosen as it is the day the World Health Organization (WHO) declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1990.

The first National Day Against Homophobia in Canada was held in Quebec on June 1, 2003. In 2006, the date was moved to align with other countries.

Friday also marked the final day of the Rainbow Week of Action, a campaign launched by pro-LGBTQ2 organization Momentum.

“This is our moment to turn the tide, to reject hatred and speak up for Rainbow Equality. People from all walks of life are coming together to reject politicians who fan the flames of violence and hatred to score political points,” said Fae Johnstone, executive director of Momentum. 

An additional aspect of the campaign was hosting letter writing events so the public could easily voice concerns with MPs.

Edmonton-Griesbach NDP MP Blake Desjarlais, who is two-spirit, spoke virtually to the House of Commons Friday to show his support for the community.

“From Stonewall to Edmonton, the queer community has and continues to contribute greatly to a better and more just society,” the Indigenous MP said. He also called on other members of Parliament to act.

“Every member of this house has a responsibility to stand up and speak out against the bigotry that is threatening the safety of our fellow citizens.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh showed their support on X.

“We’ve come a long way, but we have work to do — to make Canada a safer, more inclusive space,” Trudeau wrote.

The Prime Minister also released a statement further showing his support for the LGBTQ community.

The City of Ottawa also showed their support on X.

“Today, and every day we must support our (LGBTQIA2S+) friends, neighbours, family and colleagues as they seek to live full lives, free from violence and discrimination,” wrote Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe.

Momentum was to host a rally Friday evening at Confederation Park in downtown Ottawa.

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