The Government of Newfoundland amended its Human Rights Act yesterday to prohibit discrimination on the ground of “sexual orientation”. Bill 21 was passed just in time for World Human Rights Day.
“This is a tremendous step forward for all those who care about equality,” said John Fisher, Executive Director of EGALE. “We couldn’t have asked for a better way to recognize World Human Rights Day. In prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination, Newfoundland has joined Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Yukon Territory and the Government of Canada in recognizing that discrimination against gays and lesbians is just plain wrong. The only jurisdictions in Canada which do not yet prohibit sexual orientation discrimination are now Prince Edward Island, Alberta and the Northwest Territories. The Premier of PEI has promised to amend the province’s human rights legislation, and the Government of Alberta is currently being challenged before the Supreme Court of Canada in Vriend v Alberta, because of its refusal to extend equal human rights protections to gays and lesbians. We are pleased to join with our Newfoundland brothers and sisters in celebrating the passage of Bill 21, and we are confident that the day is fast approaching when every gay and lesbian Canadian will be able to walk the streets of this country secure in the knowledge that he or she has the equal protection of human rights legislation which each of us deserves.”
For further information:
John Fisher, Executive Director: (613) 230-1043
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