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Public Asked to Defend Against Hate and Discrimination

by ahnationtalk on June 10, 202423 Views

June 10, 2024

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned about a rise in hate against the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in our province and across Canada.

A recent IPSOS poll warns Canada is among few countries globally where public support for queer and trans rights is declining. This follows a notice earlier this year by the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) raising concerns about the increased risk of extremist violence against members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. This is deeply concerning.

Some public discourse would have us believe that by virtue of their existence, queer and trans people threaten the rights and safety of others. Such rhetoric is unfounded and serves only to divide us. It is the right of all people living in this province to peacefully co-exist, to live free from fear and harassment, and this is enshrined in law. It is unlawful for anyone to mistreat or intimidate an individual or group based on a characteristic of their identity. It is our shared responsibility as Nova Scotians to champion and defend the rights of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

In Nova Scotia, the Human Rights Act prohibits differential treatment against anyone based on numerous protected characteristics including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

The Office of Equity and Anti-Racism recently began public engagement in support of the Province’s commitment to develop an action plan to address the needs and concerns of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Input from a series of community-led sessions and an online survey will inform the plan and help identify actions to address needs. Nova Scotians are invited to engage in this process until July 31.

June is Pride Month, which began as a memorial to the Stonewall riots of June 1969 in New York City, a pivotal moment in the fight for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights. The tradition of celebrating Pride annually was born of necessity for visibility, vigilance and solidarity in the ongoing pursuit of safety, equity and inclusion. Participating in Pride events in your communities is one way to show solidarity and support.

If you experience discrimination or harassment based on your identity, you may have a complaint under the Human Rights Act, and I encourage you to contact the commission. Any threats or actual violence against you or your loved ones, however, are police matters.

All Nova Scotians are encouraged to speak out in defense of the rights of 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

To learn more about your rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Act, visit: https://humanrights.novascotia.ca

Additional Resources:

Ipsos LGBT+ Pride Report 2024: https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/ct/news/documents/2024-05/Pride-Report-2024.pdf

News article – CSIS warns that the ‘anti-gender movement’ poses a threat of ‘extreme violence’ (CBC, February 15, 2024): https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/csis-lgbtq-warning-violence-1.7114801

Office of Equity and Anti-Racism engagement website and survey: https://www.oeaengagement.ca/

NT6

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