Date: Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 2:23 PM
Subject: LGBT Refugees from Iran
Last Friday, my colleague John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, spoke in great detail about Canada's principled foreign policy, including our efforts to promote basic freedoms around the world, and to take a stand against the persecution of gays and lesbians, and against the marginalization of women in many societies. I made similar remarks in my speech last November to the global conference of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, where I raised the particular plight of gay and lesbian refugees.
As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I believe that Canada should always be a place of refuge for those who truly need our protection. That is why we continue to welcome those fleeing persecution, which oftentimes includes certain death, including on the basis of sexual orientation.
We are proud of the emphasis our Conservative Government has placed on gay and lesbian refugee protection, which is without precedent in Canada's immigration history. We have increased the resettlement of gay refugees living abroad as part of our refugee programs. In particular, we have taken the lead in helping gay refugees who have fled often violent persecution in Iran to begin new, safe lives in Canada. We are also helping community groups like the Rainbow Refugee Committee to sponsor gay refugees for resettlement to Canada.
Please click on the web-links below for more information. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts.
Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MP
(a half-dozen links for suggested further reading were added to the bottom of the message: government press releases, a speech, and newspaper articles)