Justin Trudeau says world leaders have a responsibility to march at Pride
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has attended a Pride march with his family – and said leaders should be “expected” to march at Pride.
The Liberal leader, a strong supporter of LGBT equality, has taken part in Pride marches a number of times since becoming Prime Minister.
He made an appearance at this weekend’s Pride celebrations in Halifax, marching alongside his wife and young children.
The leader, who also posed for photos with drag performers at the event, said he is “looking forward” to it no longer being remarkable that he attends Pride events.
He told reporters: “I’ll be the first prime minister to walk in the Pride parade in Halifax, but I’m very much looking forward to getting that over with so there won’t be any more firsts, and that it just be expected that prime ministers, when their schedules allow, march in Pride parades across the country.
“[It’s] not just diversity of backgrounds, but it’s a diversity of everything that makes us different as Canadians and that includes standing up strongly for the rights of the LGBT2Q community.”
Last month Trudeau marked Pride Month by announcing the government will introduce legislation to make it possible to erase the convictions for Canadians who were found guilty under historical, unjust laws for sexual activity with a same sex partner.
The government says the legislation – expected to be introduced later this year – will be another concrete step towards acknowledging and addressing injustices faced by LGBTQ2 communities.
Prime Minister Trudeau said: “Our government believes in equality and equal treatment for all Canadians.
“That is why we are moving forward on legislation that makes it possible to erase the convictions of Canadians who were unjustly convicted of a crime – simply for who they were, or who they loved.
“We will be introducing legislation on this later this year, and further we will acknowledge and apologise for the historical discrimination faced by LGBTQ2 Canadians. We are committed to apologising in an inclusive and meaningful manner before the end of 2017.
“I believe that it’s essential to make amends for past wrongs, and not to simply gloss over them. Our government believes in equality and equal treatment for all Canadians. We will passionately defend the rights of all our citizens regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
“Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are unacceptable. In Canada we’ve come a long way, but there is still work to be done, both here in Canada and around the world.”
Mr Boissonnault added: “Today our government announced another vital step in addressing the painful history of discrimination against the LGBTQ2 communities.
“As Pride season commences, Canadians will honour the many victories over the forces of exclusion, intolerance, and hate.
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“We will also soberly acknowledge that there are many challenges still to overcome. I invite all Canadians to join in remembering the past, celebrating our progress, and working towards a better future.”
His Pride Month celebration stands in stark contrast to south of the border, where US President Donald Trump axed the annual Pride Month proclamation issued by Barack Obama.
The Republican White House has also put a stop to any festivities, deciding not to hold a Pride reception for LGBT activists.
Despite the White House’s actions, some government departments still released statements marking Pride Month.