Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to rise today to commemorate the 12th international day against homophobia and transphobia.
There is much to celebrate when we think about the progress that has been made in this country, from 1979, when Svend Robinson became the first MP to come out as gay, to Bill Siksay, the former MP for Burnaby—Douglas, who introduced the first bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression.
I am particularly honoured to pay tribute to the hard work of countless Canadians like Bill, and my colleague, the member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke. Their tireless advocacy comes to fruition today as we applaud the proposed inclusion of gender identity to the human rights code, and to the hate crimes section of the Criminal Code.
However, there is still so much to do. There are still too many places where discrimination, persecution, and violence are practised with impunity.
Today, let us pledge to continue to work towards a world where everyone is equal, no matter their race, colour, gender identity or gender expression.