For Immediate Release
November 28, 2017
Ottawa, ON – Today, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and CIJA’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Council commended the Government of Canada for its formal apology to members of the LGBTQ+ community who faced discrimination from the federal government.
CIJA Chair David J. Cape issued the following statement:
“No Canadian should ever face bigotry because of their sexual or gender identity or expression, religion, race, or national origin. We applaud the Government of Canada for addressing this dark chapter of Canadian history by formally apologizing for the federal government’s systemic discrimination against LGBTQ+ Canadians in decades past. With the support and guidance of CIJA’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Council, we will continue working with the LGBTQ+ community and other at-risk minorities to further combat hate and intolerance in all forms.”
Tom Chervinsky, Chair of CIJA’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Council, issued the following statement:
“As a gay Canadian, I was incredibly moved to witness this historic moment in the House of Commons today. I applaud the government for formally apologizing to those whose lives were destroyed by the homophobic witch-hunts and purges of the public service.
“Jewish tradition holds that an apology void of action is hollow, which is why I was so heartened to hear that meaningful steps are being taken to redress these wrongs. My hope is that this will be followed by further measures to address the lingering effects of institutionalized discrimination in Canada. Just as I am grateful to all parliamentarians who supported this initiative, I am incredibly proud that the Jewish community remains a leader in advancing equality and human rights for all minorities – including LGBTQ+ Canadians.”
- CIJA’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Council was established to provide CIJA with guidance regarding policies and issues of interest to the LGBTQ+ community, while strengthening CIJA’s capacity to engage local LGBTQ+ activists and organizations across Canada.
- The Council consists of fourteen members from seven provinces and includes representation from across the political spectrum.
- The Council includes both Jewish and non-Jewish members with a diverse range of professional and political backgrounds, including law, academia, business, politics, advocacy, and Jewish community work.
- A full list of members, including biographies, may be found here.
- Prior to the establishment of the LGBTQ+ Advisory Council, CIJA undertook various LGBTQ+ advocacy activities, including sponsoring outreach events and products at Pride festivals across Canada and serving as one of several organizations on the Executive of Trans Equality Canada – a coalition that led the successful campaign to pass Bill C-16, which strengthens human rights and hate crimes protections for the Transgender community.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada.
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