Tuesday, June 3, 2014

pride banner

Canada’s Pride celebrations showcase the unity and diversity of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans, queer (LGBTQ) community and its allies. The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) stands in solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer workers and communities during the 2014 Pride festivals taking place across Canada. While the LGBTQ community still faces considerable challenges, in Canada and overseas, Pride is the season to celebrate the many gains the LGBTQ community has made and to recommit to challenging homophobia and transphobia.

The mission of all Pride activities is to celebrate and bring together the LGBTQ community, their family, friends, co-workers, their unions, their supporters, the business community, and the community at large in a spirit of camaraderie, honour, pride and respect. This is a positive and fun way for union members and their friends to learn more about the LGBTQ community and to stand together against discrimination and inequality.

This year, celebrations in Canada have a special meeting, as WorldPride 2014 is taking place in Toronto, between June 20th and 29th 2014. WorldPride is an international celebration that incorporates activism, education, and the celebration of the history and culture of LGBTQ people and communities from all around the world. This is the first time WorldPride is in North America, and Canada’s labour movement will be there, to show our solidarity with the global LGBTQ community.

Unions have been powerful forces for equality and justice in the workplace, and have made significant gains for LGBTQ workers in Canada. The Canadian Labour Congress and the Ontario Federation of Labour will be showcasing these victories in a presentation at the WorldPride Human Rights Conference entitled “Pride at Work: How Unions Promote LGBTQ Rights”. This presentation will show how LGBTQ workers, activists and allies can mobilize and use the bargaining tools available to them to gain or maintain equal rights within workplaces. On Sunday, June 29, a strong contingent of union members and activists will show their Pride by marching in the festival Parade.

The growth and success of the Pride movement over the last four decades demonstrates the power of diverse communities coming together. Each year the list of Pride celebrations taking place across the country expands. We encourage all union activists to attend and support Pride events in their communities.

Together, we have pride; but while we celebrate, we cannot forget those around the world and in this country who are not able to participate in such joyful celebrations. As a movement, let us show that we will not stop fighting for LBGTQ rights, at home and internationally. The Canadian Labour Congress, its affiliates, Labour Councils and provincial and territorial Federations of Labour will continue to challenge homophobia and transphobia in our workplaces and communities and will champion fairness and justice for LGBTQ people everywhere.

The Canadian Labour Congress wishes everyone a Happy Pride!