Statement from the Minister responsible for the Women and Gender Equity Directorate Jeanie McLean on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Minister responsible for the Women and Gender Equity Directorate Jeanie McLean has issued the following statement:

“On May 17 over 130 countries around the world observe International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. This date was created in 2004 to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex people, and all of those with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions and sex characteristics. This year's theme is "Together always: united in diversity".

"Despite the progress made in recent years, people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions continue to experience discrimination and violence. Increasingly, the progress made by 2SLGBTQIA+ communities worldwide is at risk. It is crucial to recognize the power of solidarity, community and allyship in the fight for equal rights for people of all genders and sexual orientations.

"The Government of Yukon continues work to ensure that the 2SLBGTQIA+ community can enjoy the same rights, representation and access to services that many of us take for granted. The progress we made in recent years is thanks to the tireless work of those on the frontlines: Gender and Sexuality Alliances and Gay-Straight Alliances, All Genders Yukon Society, Queer Yukon Society, Yukon Queer Film Alliance, as well as their supporters and allies.

"In 2020 the Yukon became the fourth jurisdiction in Canada to ban conversion therapy. In 2021 we introduced the LGBTQ2S+ Action Plan, which outlines a variety of initiatives that will help make government programs and services more inclusive and accessible. Last year we amended regulations to allow Yukoners to receive health insurance coverage for gender-affirming care in private facilities.

"Most recently, the Act to amend the Yukon Advisory Council on Women's Issues was passed by the Legislative Assembly during the spring sitting with unanimous support. The council will change its name to Minister’s Advisory Council on Women and Gender Equity. The amendments to the Act will ensure that, going forward, the council can provide advice related to gender equity, sexual orientation and women’s issues on any government initiative. The changes also include introduction of two sub-committees – one dedicated to equity for women, and one focused on gender diversity and equity for individuals who may face discrimination because of their sexual orientation, as well as removal of membership criteria that restricted the membership to women. It is a reflection of the government’s commitment to meaningfully include and represent the diverse perspectives and identities of Yukoners."

Media contact 

Jordan Owens
Cabinet Communications
867-332-0615
[email protected]

News release #: 
23-174