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USW condemns attacks on 2SLGBTQIA+ community

September 19, 2023

As leaders of one of the largest private-sector unions in North America, we condemn the attacks that are happening on human rights across the country, targeting gender-diverse and queer youth, members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, education workers and allies.

2SLGBTQIA+ peoples, education workers, school boards, labour leaders and activists and others are among those who have been targeted by members of hate groups determined to roll back the clock on human rights. They have been emboldened by conservative politicians who are attempting to win votes by attacking other Canadians.

This week, hate groups are planning events across the country, focusing on provincial legislatures and education-related locations. The labour movement is supporting counter-protests, in defence of trans and 2SLGBTQIA+ youth and other community members who have been targeted with regressive policies, harassment and violence.

Let it be clear that we will not tolerate this attempt to divide us. Trans people and other members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are union members, including Steelworkers, educators, parents, Steelworker family members and loved ones. We will not tolerate this attack on their human rights and our collective progress. Trans and gender-diverse youth deserve our support and protection. In our movement, there is no space for hate.

If you have questions about what it means to be a trans person, gender-diverse or 2SLGBTQIA+-identified or about the protections enshrined by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, please visit:

Steelworkers – you are asked to raise your voices against hate and not ever allow it to divide us. If you are confused about the right thing to do or say, please contact your union.

According to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and PressProgress:

  • “These demonstrations seek to eliminate Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) curriculum and policies from Canadian schools.”
  • “These protests are supported by a big tent of far-right and conspiratorial groups, including Christian Nationalists, COVID-19 conspiracy theorists, sovereign citizens, and anti-public education activists.”

In solidarity,

Marty Warren
National Director for Canada

Scott Lunny
District 3 Director

Dominic Lemieux
District 5 Director

Myles Sullivan
District 6 Director

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