Canada's queer community needs to help persecuted sexual minorities

Published: July 25, 2010

On a recent tour of the country to promote reforms to the refugee system, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney took the lesbian and gay community to task, urging them to “step up to the plate” and help resettle refugees facing persecution based on sexual orientation. Meantime, the usually conservative Supreme Court of the United Kingdom issued a landmark decision refusing to deport two gay men to countries with records of persecuting sexual minorities.

It might seem incongruous that a conservative politician and cautious judges are providing remarkable leadership on an issue largely neglected by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Canadians. But while Mr. Kenney promotes the sponsorship of LGBT refugees and staid judicial Lords argue that gay men should be free to live openly without fear, most Canadians attending Pride festivals this summer will be paying little attention to the plight of sexual minorities in other countries.

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