May 11, 2023 (Ottawa)–With the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia taking place on May 17th, the Centretown Community Health Centre joined over 80 civil society organizations to launch the #Act4QueerSafety campaign calling on the Government of Canada to address rising anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate.
While the federal government has taken important steps to support 2SLGBTQIA+ communities over the past 8 years, they have not taken meaningful action to address a staggering rise in anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate.
The campaign, led by the Society of Queer Momentum (Momentum for short), includes campaign partners such as the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, Fierté Canada Pride, the Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Association of Social Workers, YWCA Canada and dozens of other local and national organizations.
The campaign calls on the federal government to develop a funding program to support community organizations to address rising hate through education, and to take steps to address unprecedented safety and security concerns. The campaign also calls for the appointment of a Special Representative to Address and Prevent Anti-2SLGBTQIA+ Hate, and a Special Envoy on International LGBTIQ+ Human Rights to promote LGBTIQ+ equality and human rights around the world, and more. Detailed information about the campaign and a full list of campaign partners can be accessed at www.act4queersafety.ca
Michelle Hurtubise, Executive Director of the Centretown Community Health Centre, says “The need for 2SLGBTQIA+ services has skyrocketed in recent years, and unfortunately so has hate. We need to take proactive action to protect our trans and queer neighbors in our communities and the country as a whole. The CCHC is proud to support Momentum in pressuring governments to protect our communities.”
From 2020-2021, there was a 64% increase in hate-motivated violence towards queer communities in Canada. Drag events and queer organizations are being targeted with protests and hate, both online and in-person. Efforts are underway to roll back inclusion in Canadian schools. Community leaders are being targeted by anti-2SLGBTQIA+ groups. Hateful rhetoric is infiltrating into the mainstream, equating queer and trans people with child abuse, pedophilia and grooming.
Fae Johnstone, President of Momentum, shares that “Queer and trans people in Canada are scared. We’re seeing hate rising around the world and in our own communities. We need the federal government to take this seriously - and to act before hate escalates further. Without federal leadership, we risk following the path of the US, where our rights are under attack and queer communities face escalating violence.”
Why are we involved?
The Centretown Community Health Centre is an urban not-for-profit organization providing healthcare for all. We provide a full range of quality health and social services to families and individuals who live or work in the communities we serve. We pay particular attention to groups facing barriers, including the senior population, the LGBT2SQ+ community, those affected by mental illness and addictions, people who are homeless and newcomers to Canada. Visit https://www.centretownchc.org/.
Rachel Carmichael Campbell
Centretown Community Health Centre