Jun 292024

Amid the many celebrations of Pride this summer across Canada, the growing dangers of war, environmental catastrophe and social injustice are also on everyone’s mind. While public support remains strongly in favour of full equality rights, the “culture war” launched by fascist and fundamentalist groups continues to target transgender rights in particular, but aimed at the entire 2S/LGBTiQ+ (Two-Spirit / Lesbian / Gay / Bisexual / Transgender / Intersex / Queer) community.

There has been some good news, such as the welcome growth of queer visibility in the mass media. Canadian Blood Services has finally apologized to the 2SLGBTQ+ community for its longstanding former policies that barred gay men from donating blood.

But we still see a painful rise of physical assaults, violent threats and book bannings. In the name of wiping out so-called “gender ideology”, the far right wants to roll back decades of gains towards social and economic justice, reproductive rights, gender equality and diversity. Some so-called feminists have fallen for the lie that trans rights are an attack on women. but in reality, this cynical ploy is being used to push women backwards, not to move towards liberation.

The Communist Party of Canada extends our full solidarity to all those who are under attack, not just in the USA but increasingly also in Canada. Make no mistake: the hatred directed against trans people today impacts all racialized and Indigenous people, women, immigrants, trade unionists, environmentalists, anti-racists and anti-fascists, Palestine solidarity campaigners, socialists, Communists and other progressive activists.

Just look around. The assault on reproductive rights and social equality has been echoed by the so-called “freedom convoys”, anti-vax movements and climate change deniers. This “big tent” shelters white supremacists, homophobes and transphobes, fascists, nazis, anti-semites, misogynists – who all use scapegoating tactics to impose their dangerous agenda. These are the forces which aim to put Donald Trump back in the White House, and to win a majority in Parliament for Pierre Polievre’s far-right Conservatives.

The ultimate source of this threat is the deepening instability of the capitalist system, which imposes runaway inflation and unaffordable food and housing costs. Many working people are engaged in political and economic resistance, organizing into unions and going on strike for wage increases. But to maintain their record high profits, big corporations have encouraged the far-right parties and groups which demonize and divide us, fanning hate crimes against the queer community and immigrants, just as anti-Asian and anti-Black racism jumped during the Covid pandemic. 

Unity is crucial to resist these attacks, and to build powerful broad-based campaigns to win real social and economic reforms. Such campaigns must involve the labour movement which represents millions of organized workers, as well as Indigenous and racialized peoples, environmentalists, women, 2S/LGBTiQ+ people and other exploited and oppressed groups. Unity means rejecting the “pinkwashing” of Israeli apartheid and anti-Palestinian genocide, and banning corporations that support Israel’s military from sponsoring or participating in Pride events. 

Historically, scapegoating is always a weapon for the capitalist class, which exploits workers of all backgrounds and gender identities. At least 40% of 2S/LGBTiQ+ people over 15 years of age make only $20,000 a year. 2S/LGBTiQ+ people are about 10% of the population, but are an estimated 20–40% of unhoused people, and experience higher rates of mental, physical, and sexual abuse. For all these reasons, Pride has always been much more than a season of festivals and parades dominated by corporate floats. Born in protest and struggle for liberation, Pride has always been a political statement: united we stand, divided we fall, an injury to one is an injury to all!

The Communist Party of Canada demands immediate steps to end homophobia and transphobia, and a comprehensive PEOPLE’S RECOVERY.

  • Full legal and political protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, gender expression, and the bodily integrity of intersex people.
  • Employment equity legislation for Indigenous people, women, disabled people, racialized, and 2S/LGBTIQ people.
  • Housing and shelters for homeless 2S/LGBTIQ youth, along with increased social assistance and action for full employment.
  • Safe haven for refugees fleeing state-sponsored homo-, trans-, and biphobia.
  • Strengthen enforcement and penalties for hate crimes, and a ban on hate groups.
  • Support 2S/LGBTIQ-straight alliances in public schools and inclusive 2S/LGBTIQ-positive sex-ed curricula..
  • Increase funding for anti-oppression and equity-seeking programs.
  • Enforcement of trans rights.
  • Regulate social housing and care facilities to end elder abuse and the “re-closeting” of retired 2S/LGBTIQ workers. 
  • Stop evictions, foreclosures and utility cut-offs due to unemployment, strike or lockout. Roll back prices on food, fuel and rent! Raise wages and pensions! Introduce a minimum annual livable income.
  • Build a comprehensive social housing program that treats housing as a public utility and delivers it according to need.
  • Convert Canada’s $30 billion-plus military budget to civilian purposes.
  • Stop the privatization of health care. Fund and expand Medicare to include pharmacare, dental and eye care, home care, and long-term care.
  • Immediate action to recognize Indigenous sovereignty, and to implement the calls from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Murdered and Missing Women and Girls Inquiry. 
  • End public funding of religious and private schools. Create a single, secular public education system. Implement progressive sexual orientation and gender identity programs in all schools.

Communist Party of Canada, Central Executive Committee