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Policy Paper #10 LGBTTQ

Policy Paper #10 LGBTTQ

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Published by xtra_canada
Brian Topp's Policy Paper “Taking the Next Step - Strengthening LGBTTQ Rights in Canada"
Brian Topp's Policy Paper “Taking the Next Step - Strengthening LGBTTQ Rights in Canada"

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Published by: xtra_canada on Mar 07, 2012
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Let’s get the job done!

Policy paper number 10:

Taking the Next Step Strengthening LGBTTQ Rights in Canada.

March 1st, 2012

Dear Friend, When I entered the race to become the next leader of the New Democratic Party, I did it with the conviction that Canada can be more just, more caring, and more equal. In my paper “Support for Families,” I addressed issues for LGBTTQ families. This paper builds on those commitments. In 2005, the LGBTTQ community won a major victory by ending the unjust discrimination that stopped same-sex couples from marrying. The struggle for LGBTTQ rights didn’t start there, and it can’t end there either. As New Democrats, we should be proud of our work. Much has been has been accomplished in parliament: including sexual orientation in the Human Rights Act, equal treatment for same sex couples in many other pieces of legislation, and an end to institutional discrimination in the Armed Forces. . Not only will I continue our party’s practice of having an LGBTTQ critic in the shadow cabinet, when the NDP forms government in 2015 I will create the position of Minister Responsible for LGBTTQ Affairs. Further, we are the only party that has an affirmative action program to encourage LGBTTQ Canadians to run as candidates. This past May, the NDP added three new openly gay members to its caucus, building on the tradition of trailblazers like Svend Robinson, Libby Davies, and Bill Siksay. These successes have been accomplished through our party’s engagement and collaboration with grassroots LGBTTQ activist groups. These important alliances must continue. Despite these accomplishments, there is still work to be done. My plan to increase equality and empowerment will: • • • • • Create a strategy to address bullying, homophobia and transphobia; Review legislation and regulations to ensure they are inclusive of LGBTTQ people; including marriages of non-Canadians that took place in Canada; Reverse the criminalization of people with HIV/AIDS; Enhance the rights of transsexual and transgender Canadians; and, Re-establish our good name abroad and speak out for LGBTTQ rights in other countries.

This is the tenth in a series of policy papers I've released during this leadership campaign. You can find all of them at www.briantopp.ca. If you liked this one, please forward it to others you think might be interested. I welcome your comments and suggestions. And if I've persuaded you to support my campaign, please get in touch with me through my website to volunteer or donate. All the best,

Brian Topp

Combating Bullying and Discrimination with a Focus on Youth Bullying and discrimination can take place anywhere - from the schoolyard to the emergency room - and we must ensure that our response is not merely reactive, but proactive. To that end, I will: • Develop a national strategy to fight bullying that supports and encourage the provinces to create targeted anti-bullying programs and campaigns; Using Megan Leslie’s private members’ bill as a foundation, develop a national anti-suicide plan that will combat the alarming level of suicide within the LGBTTQ community.

Transsexual and Transgender Issues While the gay and lesbian community has made progress in leaps and bounds, we must recognize that change has been slower for those who identify as transsexual or transgender. To address this discrimination I will: • Fully implement the long-overdue Trans Rights bill that would explicitly protect transgender and transsexual Canadians by including gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act and in the sentencing and hate crime provisions of the criminal code; Extend the provisions of the Canada Health Act regarding essential healthcare services to include the entire gender reassignment process for transsexual Canadians; Reverse this government’s decision to stop inmates from undergoing hormone therapy; and End Transport Canada’s discriminatory practice of refusing airline passengers based on their gender identity or expression.

• •

HIV/AIDS In the past thirty years, much work has been done to combat the spread of HIV. Grassroots advocacy and education has done immeasurable good. But, there is still action that needs to be taken. • Decriminalize HIV and end the prosecution of Canadians based on their positive status;

• •

Encourage Canadian Blood Services to craft a donation policy based on unsafe practices not sexual orientation; and Finally pass legislation to fix the regime that is failing to provide countries with access to generic HIV medication.

Ensuring that Legislation and Regulations are Inclusive of LGBTTQ Canadians We have seen how the Harper government has exploited inconsistencies in the legislation governing same sex marriage. We know that the Assisted Human Reproduction Act doesn’t support LGBTTQ families. In order to address systemic barriers to inclusion, an NDP government will undertake a comprehensive review of legislation and regulations in its first mandate.

LGBTTQ Rights Abroad We must return Canada to its role as a leader in advocating for international LGBTTQ rights. To ensure that our efforts are effective, we must consult and engage local stakeholder groups overseas to ensure local needs are being addressed. To this end, I would sign the Declaration of Montreal and the Yogyakarta Principles.

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