Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, has released the following statement in honour of Pride 2022:
“June is Pride month – an opportunity to celebrate the love, diversity and connection of 2SLGBTQ+ people in our communities. After two years apart, I know many communities are grateful to be marking this month with parades and events with friends from all walks of life.
“We know that, while an opportunity for celebration, Pride is also a time of protest against ongoing discrimination, hate and violence against 2SLGBTQ+ people.
“Along with joy and gratitude for the hard-fought wins, Pride carries with it pain, anger and a recognition of the profoundly important work left to do.
“We have made progress, and our work continues to advance the rights and freedoms for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities so that B.C. can be a place where people are truly free to be who they are. But we also know that 2SLGBTQ+ people and families continue to face discrimination, harassment and outright violence in our province, and until that changes, our work is not complete.
“We will continue our work in the education system, in our communities and in our laws to make sure that all people in B.C. are truly free to celebrate who they are. While the work is not finished, we have made progress in representing the spectrum of gender identity on government I.D., providing gender-affirming surgeries here in the province, and continuing to remove gendered language in B.C. regulations to ensure everyone has equal access to government services.
“In addition, we have recently completed focused consultations that will help inform the development of an action plan to end gender-based violence.
“I also want to acknowledge the federal government’s recent changes to the Canadian Criminal Code that ban so-called conversion therapy in Canada, which is a discredited practice designed to attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
“We have heard from advocates that a provincial response to conversion therapy is also needed, which is why we will be working with stakeholders this year to hear from them on next steps we could take at the provincial level on this important issue.
“This year, let us join the 2SLGBTQ+ community to come together with solemnity, respect and sorrow for those harmed by homophobia and transphobia, and discrimination. Let’s also lift up and celebrate the resilience and joy in these communities and the difference they make in every corner of our province.
“As we fly the Pride flag at the B.C. legislature in honour of Pride celebrations, we surround our 2SLGBTQ+ friends, family members, and neighbours with all our love, support, and, indeed pride. We celebrate Pride 2022 together and commit to continuing to work together for the changes still needed to make our province safe and inclusive for all people.”