Celebrate Pride, Defeat Harper

From the Communist Party of Canada

As the summer season of LBGTTQ+ Pride events kicks off, People’s Voice sends warm greetings to all those taking part in celebrations, parades, picnics and other activities over the next few months.

Many historic legal, political and cultural victories for equality rights have been gained since the first Pride parades were held. And more progress is being achieved around the world, as seen in the recent Irish referendum on same-sex marriage rights. Another breakthrough over the past year has been the growing movement to end all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression/identity, such as the welcome action by many School Boards to make schools safer and more welcoming for trans* students.

But the struggle for human rights continues to face resistance and even violence from anti-equality forces. Despite the racist stereotype that bigotry is a “third world” problem, the reality is that hatred and gaybashing remain common in Canada. Homophobic and transphobic ideas are being deliberately exported from North America and Europe by fundamentalist groups and far-right ideologues. Here at home, the Senate has stalled Bill C-279, which aims to amend the Canadian Human Rights Code by adding “gender identity” to hate-crime legislation provisions.

These right-wing forces hope to undermine united working class resistance to the corporate austerity agenda, by scapegoating the LGBTTQ+ community along with racialised groups and other minorities. We must stand on the principle that “an injury to one is an injury to all.” Full legal and political protections for sexual orientation and gender expression/identity are urgently needed to strengthen working class unity. Such unity will be necessary in October to defeat the Harper Conservatives – the favoured party of big business, and the political home for so-called “family values” bigots who want to roll back LGBTTQ+ equality and women’s access to reproductive rights.

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