UARR supports Bill 28- the All Families are Equal Act
The Urban Alliance on Race Relations fully supports Bill 28- The All Families are Equal Act along with the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter. Please see statement below.
Nigel Barriffe, President UARR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28th, 2016
As an advocacy organization that has long supported the LGBTQ community, the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter, along with the listed agencies and individuals, supports Bill 28 – the All Families are Equal Act.
On September 29, 2016 the Ontario government released details of the ** All Families are Equal Act (http://ccnctoronto.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=9fbfd2cf7b2a8256f770fc35c&id=66eafdbce4&e=0b11e5d580)
(Bill 28). Specifically, the proposed amendments to the Children’s Law Reform Act and the Vital Statistics Act will update Ontario’s parentage and birth registration rules, and use gender neutral terminology where possible in order to be inclusive of all types of families.
Currently when a birth is being registered in Ontario, the law requires parents list a mother and a father. This means that same-sex couples cannot both be listed on the birth certificate. In addition, such a law does not meet the needs and realities of transgender parents. In order to have legal right to a child carried by their partner, the non birth parent in an LGBTQ family has to legally adopt the child. This process often requires families to hire a lawyer and apply for a court order, placing an unequal financial burden on LGBTQ families.
In June 2016, the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the language of the existing legislation – some of which has not been updated since 1978 – as well as the procedural requirements mentioned above, is discriminatory to LGBTQ families and violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Bill 28 was created in response to the requirement to update existing laws in order to conform to the ruling. Currently, it has passed second reading and is now at the committee stage. Once it becomes law, Ontario will join other provinces, including British Columbia, Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba, that have made updates to their parentage laws in recent years, in ensuring that all families are equal.
With nearly half a million residents of Chinese descent in Toronto alone, the Ontario Chinese Canadian community is a large and diverse group, including many LGBTQ people and families who are a significant part of our communities. They are among our family, friends and co-workers. Furthermore, issues affecting LGBTQ peoples are universal, occurring across all cultures and nations. LGBTQ communities are seeking equity in other countries and territories as well, including primarily Asian locales. The All Families Are Equal Act will benefit LGBTQ members of our community by recognizing them as equal members of society. As an advocacy organization that works to address issues affecting the Chinese community, we believe that Bill 28 will address systemic discrimination against LGBTQ families and allow a more inclusive approach to the needs of all Canadian families. We therefore, along with the listed agencies/organizations, endorse this statement and express our support for the All
Families are Equal Act.
Agencies, Organizations and Allies from Asian (or Chinese) communities in Support of the All Families are Equal Act:
Chinese Canadian National Council – Toronto Chapter
Winnie Ng, PhD.
Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy
Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
Asian Canadian Labour Alliance
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