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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 21, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 42
Quebec commits $7M to fight anti-Gay bullying
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Quebec commits $7M to fight anti-Gay bullying

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The Quebec provincial government will spend $7 million over the next five years on programs aimed at fighting bullying and discrimination against Gays and Lesbians.

Quebec Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier says the money will be shared among agencies working to protect the rights of LGBT Quebecois.

The campaign will focus on 'demystifying' LGBT people within the heterosexual community and ensuring they are treated fairly at school, at work, and in society at large.

Robert Laramée of Fondation Émergence, Quebec's largest LGBT organization, hailed the initiative which he said will help non-profit groups work on behalf of LGBT people, young and old, throughout the province.

'There is still an enormous amount of work to be done,' Laramée said.

Organizations will have until Dec. 1 to apply for funding from the Bureau de lutte contre l'homophobie (Bureau to Fight Against Homophobia), the government said.

In 2008, the Quebec government assigned responsibility for fighting homophobia to the Ministry of Justice.

'The aim of the government, working with many different partners, is to ensure full recognition of the rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, and Transsexuals in Quebec society,' the Ministry of Justice says on its website.

In 1977, Quebec became the first Canadian province - and the first jurisdiction in the world larger than a municipality - to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

In March 2004, Quebec became the third Canadian province to recognize same-sex marriage via court decision, more than a year before the Canadian federal government passed the Marriage Act legalizing it for the whole country.

In 2006, the Quebec Human Rights Commission ruled that sex discrimination includes discrimination against Transgender people.

In March 2007, the commission released a report written jointly with LGBT organizations that made recommendations on ways to take into account the realities and rights of sexual minority members.

The Quebec Policy Against Homophobia, along with the Government Action Plan Against Homophobia 2011-2016, constituted the government's response to the concerns expressed.

Quebec's Government Action Plan Against Homophobia 2011-2016 was released on May 20, 2011, as a joint undertaking by 11 provincial departments.

The plan presents 60 measures designed to provide active social, community, and professional support for individuals in the LGBT community, and to increase knowledge about sexual diversity.

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