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As June begins with sunshine, warmth, and the fragrance of spring flowers, Pride celebrations begin to take place in communities across the country. We wish the Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ community, wherever they live, a happy Pride Month.

Thank you for your commitment to activism, to carving out space in places where there is reluctance and fear. Activism by people around the world who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer, as well as their straight allies, takes great courage, and while we have come far, there is still far to go. We know that in many places around the world, living proudly still risks criminalization and even death. The situation is made worse by some governments enacting laws that are anti 2SLGBTQIA+.

The journey is long.

The 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Canada knows all too well how acts of violence and vandalism intend to intimidate and destroy our progress. The rise in hate crimes, especially against people who are trans, is disconcerting. Religious-induced homophobia, transphobia, and bi-phobia is real and is a contributing factor to these very public expressions of hate crimes.

As a church, we know we have an even greater responsibility to demonstrate solidarity. The United Church of Canada stands with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community inside and outside the church. It is clear there is still much work to do to ensure all 2SLGBTQIA+ people experience security, freedom from discrimination, and full equality.

This month, celebrate your victories big and small. You have earned each one of them. Allies, it is time to renew your commitment to fighting alongside the 2SLGBTQIA+ community for a future where all can live in freedom and security and enjoy abundant life.

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