The Canadian Labour Congress supports the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (IDAHOT)

News

The Canadian Labour Congress supports the
International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia
(IDAHOT)

This year is the 25th anniversary of the
United Nations World Health Organization’s decision to remove
homosexuality from its list of mental disorders and illnesses. This
day is a celebration worldwide of sexual and gender diversity. For
lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or queer (LGBTQ) people and their
allies, it is a day to celebrate with friends, family and
community, to take a stand against discrimination, harassment and
bullying and to make our workplaces and our communities better for
everyone.

Being a good ally is an important part of our work in the labour
movement. Unions have a long history of organizing for fairness for
LGBTQ workers. In 1986, the Canadian Labour Congress amended its
own constitution to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual
orientation, and later established a Pride working group so that
LGBTQ workers could have a space to advance their own work within
the labour movement and beyond. Many unions negotiated equal
benefits for same-sex couples well before they were mandated by
governments. Unions campaigned with the LGBTQ community for equal
marriage, and are now actively supporting efforts to add gender
identity to the Canadian Human Rights Act as prohibited grounds for
discrimination and to offer protection from hate crimes.

Unions have worked to end discrimination and make workplaces safer
for LGBTQ workers. By supporting and raising awareness about
IDAHOT, unions can help challenge homophobia and transphobia and
celebrate diversity and fairness for LGBTQ workers. Events are
happening all across Canada. To find one near you, click here
http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/.

It’s important for individual union members to
be good allies as well. We encourage you to show your solidarity by
taking a picture of yourself with our #instaAlly hashtag, and
tweet, post, Instagram or share your message on your or your
local’s social media accounts.

Of course, it takes more than a selfie to be a good ally. You can
also:

  • Attend an IDAHOT or Pride event
  • Listen, be inclusive, and open-minded
  • Say something; Speak up against homophobic, transphobic or
    biphobic har-assment. This can mean pointing out when jokes are
    offensive, or talking to your union when you see discrimination
    happening at work.
  • Stay informed; Find out more about current LGBTQ issues at
    www.egale.ca
  • Believe in equality; All people, regardless of gender identity
    and sexual orienta-tion, should be treated with dignity and
    respect.

Together we can challenge homophobic and transphobic stereotypes
and end discrimination and harassment in our communities and
workplaces.