CALGARY – It’s time for Alberta to catch up with other Canadian provinces and recognize same sex couples, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
A large contingent of CUPE members from across the province and the country are slated to march in the Pride Parade in Calgary on Sunday, demonstrating their support for gays and lesbians in Alberta who are still waiting for legislation to recognize their right to equal treatment before the law.
“We’re here to send a strong signal to the Klein government that dragging its heels on equality rights for lesbians and gays isn’t acceptable,” says Joey Sayer, a CUPE member from Calgary and a member of CUPE’s National Pink Triangle Committee.
“The federal government and four other provincial governments have already amended their laws to ensure they protect our rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and two other provinces have introduced legislation to make the needed changes,” says Sayer. “The Charter is clear. The courts have been clear. The equality rights of same-sex couples must be respected. So what’s the province waiting for?”
The Calgary Pride Parade is expected to be the largest ever, drawing thousands from the gay and lesbian community and their families, friends and allies.
“I think the success of this year’s parade sends an important signal to the government,” says Sayer. “The majority of Albertans want an end to discrimination. Klein shouldn’t be frightened by a vocal few. If Nova Scotia and Manitoba can do it, so can Alberta.”
CUPE is Canada’s largest union, representing a half million public service workers from coast to coast. It has been a leader is fighting for equality rights, including rights for same-sex couples.
For further information:
Joey Sayer (403) 248-2818
Mr. Sayer will also be available for comment along the Pride Parade route
Robert Fox, CUPE Communications (613) 795-4977