Are LGBTQ2+ rights threatened in Quebec?
What we see in the United States, we must not delude ourselves, we must not believe that it is only on the other side of the border. We see it, the increase in homophobia and transphobia, whether on social networks or in the street.
Florence Gallant-Chene, co-chair of the board of directors of the Quebec LGBT council
For the director general of the Fondation Émergence, Laurent Breault, the “moral panic” surrounding drag queens is “very strongly linked” to homophobia and transphobia. The Drag Queen: Let's protect our children! petition, launched by Éric Duhaime, shows the closeness that exists between Quebec and American ideologies on this subject.
“The petition circulating right now against drag queens is very similar in its argument to the moral panic around the idea of 'exposing' children to LGBTQ+ people that we find with every advance for LGBTQ+ rights. , advances Mr. Breault. The reactions that some people in Quebec have towards drag queens are quite similar to what is happening in certain American states which have banned drag queens.”
According to Laurent Breault, the argument aimed at protecting children is frequently found at the heart of LGBTQphobic measures. “This fear even sometimes seems to fall into a kind of conspiracy theory where the goal of LGBTQ+ people – or, in this case, drag queens – is to “recruit” or “convert” young people, explains the general manager of the Emergence Foundation. Sometimes, the resurgence of homophobia and transphobia is a reaction to a change in mores perceived as too rapid, which gives way to a discourse of returning to basics, a return to traditional values.
Where did the ministry go?
Laurent Breault says he is worried to see the rise of homophobia and transphobia on our side of the border. This fear is shared by the co-chair of the board of directors of the Quebec LGBT council, Florence Gallant Chenel, who notes a gap between the adoption of laws and their application by Quebec society, while discrimination is very present.
“There is a huge difference between the legislation and the state of the facts,” she says. It is not because the rights are there that they are realized in society. So discrimination is there and transphobia is there. We saw it through all this controversy concerning drag queens.
Florence Gallant Chenel notes that one year after its adoption, the bill allowing the recognition in the Civil Code of non-binary people is still not applied to government services such as the RAMQ or the SAAQ. “At the moment, non-binary people do not have access to identity documents that represent their identity, explains Laurence Gallant Chenel. In many cases, they have two IDs that don’t even have the same gender label, which makes their IDs inconsistent.”
She is also concerned about the withdrawal of the title of minister responsible for the fight against homophobia and transphobia by the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) to give this mandate to the minister responsible for the Status of Women, Martine Biron. Florence Gallant Chenel does not understand why such a title, in force since 2008, has been abolished, when the Legault government is the most important since that of Prime Minister Landry.
“We have to worry about this rise [of homophobia and transphobia] and that's why it's even more important to have clear government guidelines and above all, concrete actions that are taken. “, she said, recalling that the Quebec LGBT Council requested the return of the title to Minister Biron.
The withdrawal of the wording of minister delegate comes on top of Minister Biron’s delay in presenting the plan to fight against homophobia and transphobia, while the last government strategy ended on March 31. “For us, this question of the wording, it is essential that it be settled before the filing of the fight plan, explains Florence Gallant Chenel. It’s not normal for a plan to fight against homophobia and transphobia to be signed by the Minister for the Status of Women.”
Minister Biron’s office did not respond to questions asked by Metro at the time of publishing this article.