Justice and Public Safety
July 8, 2016

The following is being issued at the request of the Human Rights Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador:

Human Rights Commission Recognizes Pride Week 2016

This year's Pride Week celebrations, "Stronger Together," will take place during the week of July 11-17. The Human Rights Commission joins residents of Newfoundland and Labrador in celebrating the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community and the continued efforts of the community to promote visibility and equality throughout the province.

"Pride Week is a time to celebrate LGBTQ identities in our province, and to remember the difficult journey our LGBTQ residents have had to undergo to reach legal, social, and economic equity in society. During Pride Week, we are reminded that the journey did not end with legal victories, as we witness violence and discrimination facing members of the LGBTQ community in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and around the world. This is why Pride Week has such an important educational, cultural, and social relevance."
- Remzi Cej, Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission

St. John's Pride has organized several events and activities throughout the week, including:

  • Flag raisings at City Hall and Confederation Building on Tuesday, July 12.
  • Youth Laser Tag at Frontline on July 14.
  • Trans Picnic at Bannerman Park on July 15.
  • Pride Parade followed by �Pride in the Park� at Bannerman Park will close the celebrations on July 17.

This year's Pride Parade will also be streamed online on the CBC Newfoundland and Labrador Facebook page at 3:00 p.m. on July 17, 2016. For more information on Pride Week celebrations, please visit the St. John�s Pride webpage at www.stjohnspride.ca External Link Icon.

The Human Rights Act, 2010 protects individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. More information about amendments made to the act in 2013 to include gender identity and gender expression as protected grounds of discrimination can be found on the Human Rights Commission webpage at www.justice.gov.nl.ca/hrc/publications

"The Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission has played an important role in advancing LGBTQ rights in our province and in many instances, we owe our success to individual members of the LGBTQ community who brought their concerns forward in human rights complaints. Without such courageous and patient individuals, changes in our legislation and its interpretation would be slower to come. During Pride Week, let's celebrate those achievements and those individuals."
- Mr. Cej

2016 has been a pivotal year in recognizing the rights of the LGBTQ community in Newfoundland and Labrador. In April, Section 26 of the Vital Statistics Act was amended to remove the requirement that transgender persons must undergo gender re-assignment surgery to change their sex designation on their birth certificates. Information on how to change your sex designation can be found at www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/birth/changing_your_sex_designation

Individuals seeking accommodation, potential complainants, and employers seeking to ensure workplace policies are in compliance with the Human Rights Act, 2010, may contact the Human Rights Commission staff for questions and concerns. Commission staff members are also available to deliver presentations and workshops regarding human rights protections for the LGBTQ community in Newfoundland and Labrador. Please visit www.thinkhumanrights.ca External Link Icon for more information on the Human Rights Commission.

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Media contact:

Remzi Cej
Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission

2016 07 08                                                                                3:50 p.m.