Toronto – The 519, Canada’s largest LGBTQ Community Centre, today welcomed the Government of Canada’s introduction of a Bill to promote equal rights and equal protection under the law for trans and gender-diverse Canadians. The 519 joined Minister Wilson-Raybould on Parliament Hill this morning to mark the historic moment, which coincides with International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia.
The 519 has long advocated for these protections through our programs and services and our education initiatives. We have provided inclusion training to thousands of individuals, from the Toronto and Ontario public service to a broad range of non-profit and for-profit organizations. Following last year’s federal election, The 519 wrote to the Prime Minister to advocate for the inclusion of gender identity and gender expression for protection under the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. Recently, The 519 has worked closely with the Canadian Human Rights Commission as part of a consultation with trans and gender-diverse communities in Toronto toward the development of this policy.
“Today's announcement is long overdue and we congratulate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, our local MP Bill Morneau and the Liberal Government on moving quickly to correct this wrong,” says Maura Lawless, Executive Director, The 519. “The 519 will continue to work tirelessly, in partnership with the community, to implement these protections into Canadian life.”
The 519 has been an inclusive space for trans and gender-diverse people for decades. Its work is developed and delivered with, and by, trans and gender-diverse community members and activists.
"Our programs and education initiatives are delivered by trans and gender-diverse staff with the lived experience to bring authenticity to our work," Jack Hixson-Vulpe, Education and Training Specialist, The 519.
“This is the start of real and meaningful change at a national level. The 519 will continue to advocate, in partnership with the community, for truly inclusive environments and services that ensure the health, happiness and full participation of trans and gender-diverse people in Canadian society,” says Jacob Porpossian, Chair of The Board of Management, The 519.
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