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Press Release


Justice and Human Rights, Migration and Refugees, Religions, Health, Colonialism and North-South Relations: Bold Themes for the International Conference on Sexual Diversity and Gender Plurality in the Francophonie

conference-francophonie-2017_HR-V2Montréal, March 2, 2017 – The co-chairs of the scientific committee for the international conference, Equality & Legality: Sexual Diversity and Gender Plurality in the Francophonie, today unveiled the themes for the conference that Montréal Pride is organizing on August 18 as part of Canada Pride Montréal 2017.

The committee held its first meeting last week by conference call to identify the key themes for the first-ever gathering on LGBTQ rights in the Francophonie. Thirteen members of the committee from four continents took part.

The Equality & Legality conference will tackle a wide range of topics centered around six major themes:

  • Activism and Recognition: the fight for equality and justice carried out in the Francophonie on the issues of sexual diversity and gender plurality: experiences, movements, local and national alliances, perceptions, public image and prejudices
  • Universality and Solidarity: reaching beyond borders to foster the advancement of LGBTQ rights; building strategic alliances (NGOs, trade unions, businesses, governments, civil institutions, UN, IOF, etc.)
  • The Francophonie – Living as Majorities & Minorities: a vehicle for mobilizing and advancing rights within LGBTQ communities
  • Migration and Refugees: seeking safety and a life of self-fulfillment
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Plurality Within the context of Religions, Colonialism, North-South Relations and Regional Dynamics: a burdened past, a future to be (re)defined
  • Health, Sexual Autonomy and the Evolution of Rights: health issues and their impact on the evolution of rights

According to Line Chamberland, Ph.D., Research Chair on Homophobia at UQAM and co-chair of the conference’s scientific committee, members of the committee presents themes that are varied, yet inclusive. “This conference must be open to all aspects of sexual diversity and gender plurality in the Francophonie.” The co-chair equally emphasized that the way people live and how this is defined often varies from one country to another or from one culture to another, reflecting a context that is very much their own. “We want proposals submitted to be relevant to individuals across the spectrum of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex communities, while also respecting each individual group and their unique situation.”

In the same spirit of his co-chair, Patrick Awondo, Ph.D., knowing that LGBTQ realities vary from one part of the globe to the other, “we want the conference to be a forum for understanding these diverse realities without a filter, and to discuss the action and the progress that is being made, as well as the challenges posed in the face of violence, still too common-place, aimed towards LGBTQ people in certain areas of the Francophonie. ”

Indeed, even today in the Francophonie, many countries severely repress people who express their difference through gender identity or sexual orientation. In some cases, expressing one’s identity is punishable by death, in others by imprisonment, and almost everywhere by some form of stigmatization, if not outright discrimination. Within a few days, a call for proposals will be launched at the international level inviting researchers, academics and activists to submit abstracts and papers that will help build the programme of this international meeting.

The Equality and Legality conference is made possible thanks to the financial support of its presenting sponsor, the Government of Québec, and is organised in collaboration with the Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue. For anyone interested in this conference, additional information is available at: http://www.fiertemontrealpride.com/en/conference-francophonie.

About Montréal Pride

Founded in 2007 at the initiative of Montréal’s LGBTQ communities, Montréal Pride is the largest LGBTQ gathering in the francophone world. Montréal Pride is dedicated to defending LGBTQ rights, promoting our cultural wealth and celebrating our social advances. Working day-to-day, Fierté Montréal supports local LGBTQ communities while serving as a beacon of hope for people around the world living in LGBTQ-hostile areas.

From August 10 to 20, 2017, the festival’s special Canada Pride Montréal 2017 edition will be featured as part of the official programming of Montréal’s 375th celebrations and Canada 150 festivities. It will offer more than 150 activities and events, with something for everyone.


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For more information:

Daniel St-Louis
Montréal Pride
[email protected]
Mobile: 514 232-1165

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