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Lecture 10

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Department
Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1910
Professor
Dorathy Moore
Lecture
10

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Addressing Heterosexism: A Canadian case study Feb10/10-SOSC 1210
1. Developing a legal strategy: individual rights- the charter, courts and human rights codes
2. Yogyakarta principles
3. Continuing issues:
a. Re-entering the closet
b. The deep pocket of government
Film: Politics of the Heart
1977- Québec became the first province to include sexual orientation as a human right
Police began to investigate gay bashing- murders in Québec
A series of older gay men were killed
Gay men prohibited from attending the funerals of many of their friends that died of AIDS
Jan 1992- round table
Wanted human rights commission to investigate the discrimination against gays and lesbians
May 1994- human rights commission released report; made several recommendations- recommended
same sex couples should have the same access to social benefits just like heterosexual couples
Same sex couples were denied access to fertility clinics
Lesbian mothers association- goal of social support/ build the community
Society has not fully recognized same sex couples- birth certificates/ matters within the school
1998- gay couple denied right to marriage on basis that the Québec civil code constituted marriage btwn
man and woman
2001- case taken to trial fought both levels of gov to gain right to gay marriage
recog. Given to a “Homosexual civil union
preliminary bill- recognizes gay couples as a homosexual civil union but not an official marriage
o gave the government authority to interpret the law and change the decision
focus on parental rights for gay couples
feb 2002- trial and testimony of 3 Québec teens
justice minister rewrote the bill
added new rights to same sex couples-; parental rights-both mothers have right to sign certificate
june 2002- bill to be voted on in Québec parliament- bill passed
2004- Québec became third province in Canada to recognize same sex marriage
Case on Gay and Lesbian Marriage
Civil unions gave parties same rights as If they were a married couple
Lecture
Late80s early 90s most provinces except Alberta and federal human rights act included same sex rights
Haig 1992- even though sexual orientation was not writing in fed. Human rights act, it would be read in
Mossop Case- 1993
Gay man denied bereavement leave to attend his partners, fathers funeral
Should have been covered under the federal human rights act(a code)
Demonstrates how many aspects of regulations and law discriminate
Case taken to SCC- he won
Egan is very significant case
It established the fact that sexual orientation is a grounds for protection under s. 15(1) of the charter
You have to have charter protection if you want to challenge legislation
Even though they won, they were not accorded the benefits they were trying to claim; resulted in a partial
victory
Public opinion is important- started to change in the 90s
More than half the population agreed- says sexual orientation is a grounds for claiming discrimination
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