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OPSEU statement on the tragedy in Orlando

OPSEU SEFPO Rainbow Alliance, Alliance arc-en-ciel logo

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union issued the following statement today.

OPSEU stands with our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Intersex, Asexual, Queer, Questioning, Two Spirit (LGBTTIAQQ2S) siblings in Orlando and members here in Ontario, as well as those in the LGBTTIAQQ2S community throughout the world, in shared sadness and outrage over the terrible crime committed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Violence is sadly far too often a reality for members of the LGBTTIAQQ2S community, both here in Ontario and around the world.

Today we also stand in solidarity with people of colour, recognizing that the victims of this attack were predominantly members of the African-American and Latino/a communities. And we stand with our Muslim members, in particular those who are members of both the Muslim and LGBTTIAQQ2S communities, who are also fearful of the reactions to this terrible crime. We echo those leaders of the LGBTTIAQQ2S community who have stated clearly and unequivocally that “Islamophobia must never be the answer to homophobia.”

As a union that represents many members of the LGBTTIAQQ2S community, OPSEU continues to advocate for the right of all members of this community to work and live free from harassment, discrimination and violence.

In the wake of this weekend’s tragic events, we encourage every member across the province, regardless of identity or expression, to take part in Pride events in their communities this year, as we have for many years. By participating in these events, we send a clear statement of our support for equality, respect, and the right to a life free from the fear of harassment and violence for all. Today, we join our brothers and sisters in sadness, but also vow to redouble our efforts to support the LGBTTIAQQ2S community, both at home and abroad, in this moment and in the days, weeks and years to come.

President Warren (Smokey) Thomas

Jannet Geddes, co-chair, Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel

Robert Hampsey, co-chair, Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel

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