Rallying Against Homophobia

More than 300 people attended a rally at the legislature to “Say No to Bullying and Homophobia. Show Your Support for Bill 18,” on May 16.

The Rainbow Resource Centre held the rally in support of the International Day Against Homophobia. Speakers included Executive Director Chad Smith and youth from the Rainbow Resource Centre, as well as Education Minister Nancy Allan, and MLAs Jennifer Howard (Fort Rouge), Jim Rondeau (Assiniboia) and Melanie Wight (Burrows).

Wight spoke about the International Day Against Homophobia.

“May 17th is a significant day towards the improvement of the status of LGBTTQ people worldwide. On that day in 1990, homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO)," she said.

“By declassifying homosexuality as a mental illness, the WHO ended the institutionalization of homophobia in the medical field.”

The rally was also in support of Bill 18, THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AMENDMENT ACT (SAFE AND INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS). The bill is focused on updating anti-bullying legislation to include all forms of cyberbullying such as social media, text messaging and instant messaging.

Bill 18 also requires each school board to establish a “respect for human diversity policy” that must support student activity promoting inclusion, for example, student activities and organizations that use the name "gay-straight alliance".

For the full text of Bill 18, please visit http://web2.gov.mb.ca/bills/40-2/b018e.php.