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Social Science
SOSC 1910
Kerry Taylor

02/08/12 Lecture#16: Challenging Heterosexism-Law and Social Activism Essay due feb.29  topic approved by next week Film: Politics of the Heart  Outlines a group of activist who worked to change Quebec’s civil code to adopting laws on Gays and Lesbians marriage  At the end of the day their cause prevails  Quebec was the first province to make sexual orientation legal in the law  These events led to lesbians and gays against violence  There was violence against older gay men  ACT UP  awareness of HIV infection …the gay couple was involved in this  Round table was developed to deal with murders, violence and all types of discrimination  2 lesbian couples…talking about how they had issues with sperm situation  They had children anyway  They said that they knew that there would b discrimination for they’re children but wither way there would be  Their gay relationship was a plus not a minus  They tried to get their marriage license and changed it from “husband and wife” to “husband and husband” which was illegal in the criminal code  So they couldn’t get the license and decided to try it in court  Preliminary bill was signed not a bill …it was the easy way to include the most “important things” and leave the rest  Quebec recognizes the civil union of homosexual couples 2001?  All the gays and lesbians were furious with this because it didn’t outline anything much…they still couldn’t legally have family rights  They met with the Minister of Justice expressing their fury with him  They needed public opinion support to get family rights in the union  There were 3 testimonies made by teenagers who told their story…one about how this girls mother is still hiding her sexuality  This helped the case of adding parenting rights in the union for same sex couples  The bill was being reviewed in the National Assembly where the billed passed unanimously  Gay couples in Quebec gained full parental rights and marriage Lecture Heterosexism *read these cases in kit  The legal strategy itself has been carries out over less time but is equally as challenging  During the late 80’s and early 90’s all provinces with the exception of Alberta had rights in their law  Haig- 1992, Supreme Court of Canada judgment. They said that even though judgment wasn’t written in the act they were going to read it in  Mossop- 1993 Supreme Court case, gay couple and one of them was denied leave from work to attend his partners father’s funeral. The supreme court said that this was discriminatory  Egan- 1995, case that established that sexual orientation is a ground for protection under section (1). First big-chartered case. Their spousal benefits were denied.  Around 1995 we see a shift in public opinion, half of the public think that sexual orientation should be protected  Re k and B, reached Ontario provincial court level. They said failing to allow same sex partners to adopt each other’s children was a violation of their rights  Vriend- 1998, Supreme court of Canada, last time the supreme court is going to talk about whether sexual orientation will be in human rights code…This was the last chance that Alberta got to include sexual orientation in human rights code  Rosenburg- 1998, Challenge to the income tax act. This was challenged because it forced pension plans to refuse same sex benefits.  There are lots of pieces of legislation that was discriminatory.  In Ontario we had 98 pieces of legislation all containing the idea that a spouse was only a man and a woman  M. v. H- 1998, case about spousal support when a relationship between lesbian partners broke down. The judges in this case came out for the first
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