FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Claire Roussel-Sullivan, chair of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission, to mark the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia:

On May 17, in what has grown to involve over 130 participating countries, the world recognizes the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) which is defined as dislike of or prejudice against individuals who are gay, bisexual, intersex and transgender/transsexual.

This impactful day is meant to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by sexual minorities.

The theme for this year’s IDAHOBIT is Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!

The New Brunswick Human Rights Act was amended in 1992 to prohibit discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, and also in 2017 to include gender identity and expression as protected grounds of discrimination.

By observing this day, New Brunswick celebrates the innate dignity and uniqueness of each individual and the progress made, while recognizing the ongoing struggle to overcome the effects of discrimination on a particularly vulnerable segment of society.

It is our responsibility to respect the rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in all aspects of their lives, including health, safety, employment, and housing, in order to prevent any form of discrimination against them.

This is a human rights issue.

For over 50 years the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission has protected and promoted the values associated with human rights such as respect, appreciation for diversity, and absence of discrimination.

I urge New Brunswickers today and everyday, to confront discrimination, and to work toward a New Brunswick where everyone, regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, can fulfill their fundamental right to be treated equally, with dignity, kindness, compassion and respect.