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LGBTQ Calgarians and supporters gathered at the Centre for Newcomers on Thursday to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.  “We know that being LGBT is criminalized in at least 72 countries around the world and, unlike Canada where we enjoy equal rights, people are facing death threats, they’re facing extreme violence, they’re facing imprisonment all the time around the world,” said Kelly Ernst, the lead for LGBTQ projects at the centre. “They’re coming to Canada to try to enjoy equal rights that all of us enjoy here.” Ernst says it’s critical to have a program that welcomes LGBTQ newcomers in the city.  “People coming to Canada for the very first time who are LGBT need to be in a place that they can feel safe, but also in a place where they can get help to settle here,” he said.  The international day is celebrated in “dozens of countries,” according to Ernst.

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