FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO – August 8, 2013 - ProudPolitics applauds the Government of Canada and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird, in particular, for his principled stand opposing recently-passed anti-gay legislation in Russia. The new law prohibits so called ‘gay propaganda’ and has been used to silence dissent in the form of pride events or political demonstrations. Speaking to the Canadian Press on August 1, the Foreign Affairs Minister described the legislation as an “incitement to intolerance, which breeds hate. And intolerance and hate breed violence.”
Recent media reports out of Russia already suggest that an atmosphere of state-tolerated, if not yet sanctioned, violence toward young LGBTQ people by neo-Nazi elements and other hate groups is already being created. And internationally, discussions are under way about whether Russia should be allowed to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, given the safety and legal concerns for LGBTQ athletes from other nations.
As Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird has the authority and responsibility to speak out on such an issue.
The Minister has come under fire in recent days, however, by a reactionary and intolerant organization called the REAL Women of Canada. This group uses the false flag of ‘sovereignty’ to support the anti-equality legislation in Russia. The organization has also spoken out in favor of violent and hateful efforts by lawmakers in Uganda and Kenya to outlaw homosexuality. The REAL Women of Canada presents itself as a conservative organization for women’s equality. In reality, it is a backward-looking group clinging to what it calls the “values of traditional marriage and family”. The organization opposes any efforts to construct a socially inclusive and equal future in Canada or anywhere else in the world.
ProudPolitics supports the statements of the Foreign Minister with regard to the legislation in Russia and condemns without reservation the baseless claims made by REAL Women of Canada that accuse him of abuse of power for his promotion of tolerance and human rights abroad when it comes to LGBTQ issues.
Foreign Affairs Minister Baird described the government’s position with regard to LGBTQ rights internationally as being focused on three things: “First, against the criminalization of sexual minorities, two, against violence, and three, against the death penalty – and I think 99.9 per cent of Canadians support us on those three issues.”
ProudPolitics agrees. Equality, inclusiveness, and fairness are true Canadian values.
About ProudPolitics Canada
ProudPolitics is Canada’s only multi-partisan LGBT organization aimed at diversifying the face and voice of Canada’s politics by helping emergent openly LGBT leaders realize their potential to serve and win elections to all levels of government through candidate support, fundraising, networking, and outreach.
For more information visit: www.proudpolitics.org
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Deputy Executive Director