24-04-A — Call to Combat Transphobia and Homophobia

WHEREAS two-spirit, transgender, nonbinary, and gender diverse (2STNBGD+) people are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in Canada and have experienced long-term and systemic discrimination, harassment and violence in many aspects of their lives, including in relation to accessing justice, healthcare, housing and employment;

WHEREAS 2STNBGD+ people experience more co-occurring legal problems than the general population, often as a direct result of the legal system itself, and are less likely to formally act on their legal issues;

WHEREAS human rights violations, harassment, intimidation, threats of violence and hate-motivated protests have increased, and, according to Statistics Canada, hate crimes targeting 2SLGBTQI+ people have reached an all-time high;

WHEREAS, left unaddressed, discrimination and violence threaten to continue to destroy the lives of 2SLGBTQI+ people, undermine the rule of law, devalue the human rights of all people, and inhibit economic development and the full contribution of all members of society;

WHEREAS the CBA, the HIV and AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario and TRANSforming Justice published the Access to Justice for Trans People report in 2022, identifying barriers for improved access to justice for 2STNBGD+ people;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Canadian Bar Association urge organizations and federal, provincial, and territorial governments to combat transphobia and homophobia by:

  • implementing the recommendations in the CBA Access to Justice for Trans People, listed in Annex 1;
  • supporting and adopting laws making it a discriminatory practice to communicate or cause to be communicated hate speech, including on the internet, that is likely to foment detestation or vilification of an individual or group on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination; and
  • developing and implementing a national strategy involving all levels of government to protect the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ people and combat increasing transphobia and hate crimes.

Moved by Sexual and Gender Diversity Alliance

Download the Resolution