The Government of Yukon reinforced its commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, Two-Spirit plus (LGBTQ2S+) non-discrimination by introducing a new Gender Diversity and Related Amendments bill today.
The bill promotes more cultural, regional and gender diversity on four Government of Yukon boards and committees. These changes will support more inclusive decision-making in key areas – including child care, violence prevention, social assistance and provision of care.
The bill also seeks to amend the Public Service Labour Relations Act to add sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination.
The Government of Yukon is making progress on a long-term project to update legislation to be more inclusive of LGBTQ2S+ Yukoners. The first step took place last year with amendments to the Vital Statistics Act and Human Rights Act. The Gender Diversity and Related Amendments Act continues this work.
All Yukoners deserve to be treated with equity and fairness and it’s important this is reflected in our laws. We committed to review legislation, policies and practices to ensure the Government of Yukon meets the rules and social standards for LGBTQ2S+ non-discrimination. Part of our long-term goals will be met with the passing of this bill. It is a privilege to continue this work on behalf of Yukoners.
Minister responsible for the Women's Directorate Jeanie Dendys
Changing laws is one of the strongest signals we can send that our government is committed to increasing the inclusion and equality of LGBTQ2S+ Yukoners. We know that the way our legislation has historically been written – as if there are only two sexes, two genders and one sexual orientation – means our laws do not always speak inclusively of LGBTQ2S+ Yukoners. We are proud to be taking the next step in fulfilling our commitment to LGBTQ2S+ non-discrimination in our laws.
Minister of Justice Tracy-Anne McPhee
The legislated boards and committees to be amended by this bill are associated with the Care Consent Act, Child Care Act, Crime Prevention and Victim Services Trust Act and Social Services Act.
Changes to the Public Service Labour Relations Act will ensure that no employee organization discriminating against LGBTQ2S+ employees can be certified as bargaining agents for a bargaining unit.
This legislative change is one part of a multifaceted approach to create a more inclusive Yukon for LGBTQ2S+ citizens. Continued engagement with LGBQT2S+ organizations, individuals, families and allies will help in collecting input on issues and priorities for making Yukon laws, policies, programs and services as non-discriminatory as possible.