CanWest – A gay rights group on Friday criticized Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s decision to shelve a retooling of the province’s sexual education curriculum.
Egale Canada’s executive director, Helen Kennedy, said McGuinty’s reversal on the policy, which would have introduced discussions on sexuality in Grade 3 and anal intercourse in Grade 7, was “very disappointing,” adding that “kids with same sex partners are being left out again.”
Tag Archives: Gay Rights
Xtra – As Xtra previously reported, Richard filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in 2005. He alleges discrimination based on sexual orientation by his former employer, the Treasury Board of Canada.
Richard, the Canadian government, the CHRC and the Attorney General are entangled in legal proceedings over whether Richard’s allegations of systemic homophobia — which was filed two decades after the events in question — should still be heard in court.
The Province – The decision by Little Flower Academy, a private Catholic girls school in Vancouver, to sack music teacher Lisa Reimer after she revealed that she and her partner were about to have a child indicates, again, how confused and frankly uptight many people remain about sexual orientation.
Time – “IT’s time for equality for all Americans!” another protester yelled at 6:22. Obama said, “can I just say again Barbara and I are supportive of repealing Don’t ask dont tell.” But protester keeps yelling. Bringing Obama’s remarks to a halt. The crowd responds again by “shouting yes we can!” [sic] over the protesters.
“Be quiet!” someone yells.
Winnipeg Free Press – Friday is the national Day of Silence across the United States, a day in which hundreds of thousands of students from more than 8,000 K-12 and post-secondary schools will take a vow of silence to protest homophobia.
It started in 1996, and has grown every year, says the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which organizes the national Day of Silence with support from the American Civil Liberties Union.
It hasn’t reached Canada… at least, not yet.
Edmonton Journal – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed Monday to fight for gay rights, calling for all nations to stop violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation…
“The persecution of gays and lesbians is a violation of human rights and an affront to human decency, and it must end,” she said.
Times-Colonist – “The United States has refrained from commenting on the election in Iran. We obviously hope that the outcome reflects the genuine will and desire of the Iranian people,” said Clinton, on a short visit to Canada.
Michigan Messenger – State and national organizations who represent the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are expressing outrage over t-shirts bearing the slogan “Straight Pride” offered for sale at a Saturday rally of the Tea Party Express…
“It’s like white supremacy,” says Penny Gardner, president of the Lansing Association for Human Rights, a Lansing area lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights group. “It’s as if they are saying the idea of supremacy is some how the American way. The American way is about equality, and equality is all we’re looking for.”
National Post – Will lesbian heckler get last laugh in rights fight?
CTV – A comedian whose put-downs of a lesbian and her companion in the audience is hoping she doesn’t have the last laugh at a B.C. Human Rights Commission tribunal this week.
Was Guy Earle’s discriminatory verbal assault spurred solely by the woman’s sexual orientation, or was the professional funny man exercising his right to free speech when an audience member wouldn’t settle down?
Washington Times – A lesbian student who wanted to take her girlfriend to her senior prom is asking a federal judge to force her Mississippi school district to reinstate the dance it canceled.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi on Thursday filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oxford on behalf of 18-year-old Constance McMillen, who said she faced some unhappy classmates after the Itawamba County School District said it wouldn’t host the April 2 prom.
Does freedom of religion trump the right not to be discriminated against due to sexual orientation?
This question is at the core of a complaint before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. It involves a Christian couple, two gay lovers, and the use of a home-based bed-and-breakfast.
Jonathan Kay, National Post - As in all such cases, the disclosure sent journalists rummaging through Ashburn’s voting record on issues affecting the gay and lesbian community. And, sure enough, it turns out “he has voted against every gay rights measure in the State Senate since taking office, including Recognizing Out-Of-State Same-Sex Marriages, Harvey Milk Day and Expanding Anti-Discrimination Laws.”
Yet, amazingly, Ashburn defends his hypocrisy as a reflection of the democratic imperative: “My votes reflect the wishes of the people in my district, and I have always felt that my faith and allegiance was to the people there in the district, my constituents.”
[MCV] The FA has:
Expanded the role of its national free hotline for reporting racist incidents at matches to include homophobic comments and behaviour (2005).
“There is a problem with homophobic abuse in the game, directed not just at players but also referees and also opposing fans,” explained Faulker in a media statement, with crowds regularly taunting players as ‘poufs’ or ‘queers’ when they go down injured.
[National Post] Somewhere in the middle are Murray and Peter Corren. One of the first gay couples in Canada to marry, they almost single-handedly forced the topics of sexual orientation, gender identity and same-sex families into schools, launching a B. C. Human Rights Tribunal complaint against the provincial government.
The Correns said they had “much evidence” that the province’s Ministry of Education had, in the past, “taken active steps to suppress these issues from the provincial curriculum.” This was discriminatory, they alleged.
Rather than see the complaint wend through the human rights process, where a quasi-judicial panel might find in favour of the Correns and impose a far-reaching remedy, the province negotiated a settlement two years ago. It pledged to solicit feedback from “organizations or groups with expertise in sexual orientation, homophobia and other issues of inclusion of diversity in the curriculum” and then develop what has become the Social Justice 12 course.
Material: Paul’s Case by Willa Cather “Paul’s Case is about a boy who does not fit in. He is being pressured by his father to become what ‘all the other boys’ become.
Some young people feel that they do not fit in. Paul does not have any real friends. He is often bullied because other youngsters do not understand him. His teachers treat him cruelly because he makes them feel small and inferior. Have students research the correlation between adolescent suicide and homosexuality. What are the possible reasons for this statistic? (Note to teachers: Ensure students understand that homosexuality does not ’cause’ depression or suicide.)” – Course: English 12
[UK Gay News] English club Stonewall Lions FC has convincingly won the Gay World Football Championship today at Leyton Orient’s league ground, the Matchroom Stadium, in London.
The London-based club defeated the Argentine team Safgay FC, 5-0, the biggest winning margin in a final since the inaugural competition in September 1997 in Washington DC.
Stonewall previously won the Gay Football World Championship in 2002 and 2006, and last month won the European Gay Football Championship.
“Gay footballers are helping break down stereotypes and prejudice. They are ambassadors for gay inclusion and equality. Gay football enhances understanding and acceptance of gay and lesbian people,” he concluded.
[Georgia Straight] Pierre Trudeau showed leadership when he declared that “the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.” Canadian judges showed leadership when, first in Ontario and then in six other provinces, they held that same-sex marriage was a constitutionally protected right.
But don’t expect any leadership from Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Harper opposed same-sex marriage. He refused to speak at the International AIDS conference in Toronto in 2006. He has never, ever marched in a Pride Parade.
[National Post] If it were only the career of one stand-up that were at stake, the Earle affair might not be so troubling. (Mr. Earle is holding a “Comics for Freedom” benefit on Saturday at Toronto’s Comedy Bar, 945a Bloor Street West.) But if hecklers are legally protected — and stand-ups have to worry about facing legal expenses for having defended themselves verbally on stage from distracting drunks and drama queens — stand-up comedy will die like a fish out of water in Canada. Who would put in the brutal hours needed to master it under such a threat, or dare come to this country to perform? An entire art form will have been euthanized in the name of preventing “offensiveness,” and what others can then regard themselves as safe?
[Windy City Times] One year to go.That’s the attitude—and reality—in Copenhagen, as the capitol of Denmark prepares for what likely will be the largest LGBT sporting event of 2009.
The second-annual World Outgames will be held in Copenhagen July 25—Aug. 2, 2009, with 38 different sports disciplines, from aerobics to wrestling, for competitors of all skill levels. In addition, there will be a wide variety of cultural events, including performances, exhibitions and parties. World Outgames 2009 also will feature a human-rights conference addressing issues and concerns of the LGBT community.
[Mark Northern, Director of Marketing]: …Montreal was a fantastic event, but there were vendors who were left holding the bag until they found a resolution a few years later.
WCT: So, have those 2006 vendors been paid?
MN: I can’t speak to that; I just don’t know. The latest report that I heard was, a compromise was reached between the city, the organizers and the vendors. But I don’t know what that meant or what they actually received for the outstanding debts.
WCT: Will any of the people from Montreal Organizing Committee be involved with 2009?
[gaywired.com] Celebrating its 26th season, the 150 member Boston Gay Men’s Chorus creates a more tolerant society through the power of music. The BGMC recently won the 2007 “Creative Leadership in Human Rights Award” from the Massachusetts Teachers Association for its innovative High School Outreach Program.
[Calgary Herald] A former pastor is appealing an Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission decision ordering him to stop publishing disparaging comments about homosexuals.
Stephen Boissoin filed an appeal with the Court of Queen’s Bench last week after the provincial commission ruled he violated human rights laws by writing a letter in a newspaper that attacked gays and gay activists.
[Globe and Mail] Downtown Toronto will shut down Sunday as people gather to celebrate homosexuality and gender-bending. The occasion is Pride Day, one of Canada’s largest cultural events.
Some complain that the event’s mainstream acceptance has left Pride without soul, a massive corporate-sponsored opium-farm. Where, the radicals ask, is the deep iconoclastic spirit of the very first Pride marches, before it was safe to be gay?
Gay rights activists prove to be as bureaucratic as any other lifetime political hacks, as they manuever for a new cause: transgender rights (that’s the “T” in the LGBT).
Canadians are steadily approaching the new cultural battleground of transsexual rights mindful of ethical lessons from previous debates about minorities. There is also a more personal connection. Everyone is realizing that their gender identity is complex, and we feel natural empathy where that complexity is most intense. An extraordinary transgender “pride” is still necessary, however.
More on the Religion/Speech/Sex Rights trifecta. Hey, don’t blame the tribunals. They’re just doing the job you pay them to do.
[Chronicle Herald] HOW FAR are the human rights thought police willing to go in this country?
Just watch them.
In Alberta last month, a government human rights apparatchik slapped a lifetime gag on an evangelical pastor, legally prohibiting him from ever again publicly expressing – via publishing, radio, public speech, e-mail or other Internet use – anything “disparaging” on homosexuality, regardless of whether his views are based on honestly held religious beliefs.
Think about that one for a moment. Stephen Boissoin, the target of the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal’s May 30 ruling, has been told by the state he cannot – for the rest of his life – publicly utter a word that could be considered insulting to gays, even if he’s quoting from Christian Scripture.
More from the When Human Rights Collide file.
[Toronto Sun] Wells adds the commission has not been fair in giving him a full opportunity to argue his case because he was only allowed to file three pages of information to back up his complaint and argues there is much more to consider.
He argues the material on the magazine’s website “does not represent Catholic teaching” and wants the human rights commission to proceed with his complaint expeditiously.
“It’s hateful, discriminatory and it has to be challenged,” argues Wells, who adds the controversy is not about religious freedom.
“I don’t care what they say from their pulpit,” he says. “But when they put hate messages or messages that are likely to expose minority groups to hatred or contempt, it’s against the human rights legislation.”