Unconnected but in the direct wake of another tragic gay teen suicide, that of Jamie Hubley in Ottawa, the Canadian province of Québec has just announced a massive anti-gay bullying campaign.
It is part of a C$7 million funded anti-homophobia initiative announced in May.
Québec Justice minister Jean-Marc Fournier said money will be shared among agencies working to protect the rights of LGBT people. The campaign will focus on demystifying LGBT people within the community and ensuring they are treated fairly at school, work and society at large.
“We’ve increased the budget to multiply their activities, and thus curb the phenomenon of homophobia,” Fournier said.
The Action Plan to Fight Against Homophobia [PDF] announced in May provides grants for projects involving up to two years and for amounts of up to $ 50,000 per year.
Project objectives are:
- demystifying the realities of the various identities and sexual orientations;
- strengthening the full recognition of LGBT rights;
- encourage the development of methods and tools for screening, prevention and intervention to promote well-being of LGBT people.
“We must acknowledge these concrete gesture of our government that will allow us to consolidate and protect the gains. But more importantly, we will ensure that actions are undertaken in all regions of Quebec with local people, young and old and ‘diverse cultural backgrounds’, because we have still a huge job to do.”
The Minister of Justice considers liaison between the LGBT community groups crucial.
“Since the agencies working with sexual minorities are doing invaluable work every day and have invaluable expertise in the field of sexual diversity, I am committed to working with them. The success of the fight against homophobia depends on the sum of the shares of each organization,” Fournier says.
The coordinator, Mr. Roger Noel, of the Office of Fight Against Homophobia, was chosen among others for his extensive experience in the struggle against homophobia in government.
Fierté Montréal Parade picture Jonathan Hinkle