NewsTue Aug 18, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST
Quebec Anti-Homophobia Action Plan to be Tabled by Year-End, Says Justice Minister
By Patrick B. Craine
MONTREAL, Quebec, August 16, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The province of Quebec will be proposing a new wide-ranging action plan to fight 'homophobia' by the end of this year, announced Quebec Justice Minister Kathleen Weil at the Montreal Pride event on Sunday - reiterating her original promise made in May.
"We are fortunate to live in a society that is so open, but that does not mean that the work is done, there are other measures to provide," said the Minister at the event, reports Canoe.
Weil, whose mandate includes "the fight against homophobia," had announced on May 17, the annual International Day Against Homophobia, that a multi-ministry committee was working on developing a provincial policy against homophobia, to be adopted by the end of the year.
Now, according to Weil, ten ministries are involved in developing the action plan, which will offer concrete measures to combat negative reactions to homosexuality.
Weil will not yet discuss the details of the plan, reports The Canadian Press, but she insists that it will involve not just promises, but "real actions - what we'll do and how we'll do it differently."
"Minorities are often confronted with obstacles, obstacles that stop them from reaching their full potential as human beings," she said. "Society can't afford that, can't afford to lose these great people."
Montreal Pride spokesman Jasmin Roy told The Canadian Press that the homosexual community expects "enormous" results from the new plan. "It's a big step," he said. "That's why we're marching: to say that finally, this year, Quebec will have a policy against homophobia."
On the day of the Montreal Pride event, QuÚbec solidaire, a radical left-wing political party, issued a statement criticizing the Quebec government for not following through on their commitment to respond to the human rights commission's report.
According to Dr. Amir Khadir, the party's sole member in the Quebec National Assembly, it is "absurd to note that 40 years after the partial decriminalization of homosexuality, practically no significant measure has been adopted to combat homophobia in Quebec."
Khadir called on the government to act in the schools and to work with organizations that need more funding to fight 'homophobia' or assist victims of 'homophobia'. "It's time to act," he said.
The action plan is being developed based on the recommendations of the Quebec human rights commission in its 2007 report, "From legal equality to social equality: toward a national strategy to fight against homophobia," which had been commissioned in 2005 by Justice Minister Yvon Marcoux. The report documents the difficulties experienced by homosexuals, including higher rates of depression, drug abuse, alcoholism, and suicidal tendencies. While many would point to these as symptoms of sexual disorder, the report attributes these difficulties to 'homophobia'. Calling on the government, then, to fight 'homophobia', the report even recommends the creation of a separate ministry for the cause.
Quebec Immigration Minister Yolande James, who is also heavily involved in the action plan, expressed pleasure to The Canadian Press about Quebec's initiative in promoting openness to homosexuality. "We've always been avant-garde in our progress towards equality," she said, "and I think this policy will allow us to do more and continue to be the front-runners."
The province has indeed been strongly pushing the homosexualist agenda. Last week, for example, it was reported that the Quebec Ministry of Education had funded the development of a training program for primary school teachers that helps them promote openness to same-sex parenting in their classrooms. The training had already begun in Montreal.