August 2008 CLGRO Newsletter

August 2008

Age of Consent

Congratulations to Nicholas Dodds, as an outstanding Queer Youth Activist for the 2008 Youth Line Community Awards. Nick’s outstanding work with the Age of Consent Committee was recognized.

New CLGRO Website

The new CLGRO website, is now up and running.

It is not completely finished, we still want to add Pay Pal so membership renewals and donations can be done on-line, and some of the longer Info Sheets need to be added and others updated.

We decided to include all the historical data on the website rather than offering to mail publications out. This should help with those who contact us for research projects.

Please have a look at the site and let us know what you think. Our new email address is [image email].


CLGRO was represented at a meeting of the Ontario Inclusion Learning Network on June 6, 2008 and participated in a Consultation Meeting of the Safe Schools Action Team on June 9, 2008. At the Learning Network the importance of programs was emphasized to deal with safety in the schools and many were described. The concern expressed is that the focus is too much on violence, creating a culture of fear which is difficult to combat and we are moving toward a militarized system with more regulations and police in the schools.

At the Consultation we spoke specifically on homophobia in the schools and emphasized the importance of increasing the visibility of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the schools, not just among the students but among the administration and staff as well to help diffuse homophobic attitudes. We also encouraged the inclusion of issues of sexual orientation throughout the curriculum, not only sex education but also history, arts & literature, science, sociology etc. as a means of helping to increase that visibility and awareness among the staff and students.

The consultations by the Safe Schools Action Team continue. When we attended we were the only queer group represented, the other two participants were OPP representatives. The recommendations from the Action Team are expected in October.


Progress and More Progress for Rainbow Health Network

In the last few months there have been a number of very exciting developments that have taken place as a result of the work of the Rainbow Health Network (RHN). Here is a list of highlights:

  • RHN hosted a successful public forum on May 13, 2008 to commemorate International Day Against Homophobia highlighting this year’s theme on health care. A presentation featuring the following panelists: Rebecca Hammond (Trans PULSE Project), David Lewis – Peart (Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention – Black CAP), Judy MacDonnell (Rainbow Nursing Interest Group – RNIG), Nick Mulé (Rainbow Health Network – RHN) and moderated by Fran Odette (community activist) took place followed by questions and discussion.
  • RHN’s Trans Health Lobby Group has successfully lobbied the provincial government to relist sex reassignment surgery (SRS) under OHIP. The Trans Health Lobby Group on behalf of RHN, hopes to meet with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care soon to discuss implementation. Meanwhile, the campaign continues for inclusion of trans people in the Ontario Human Rights Code.
  • The proposal from RHN and CLGROfor a provincial resource centre has received a commitment from the provincial government to fund the new Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO). Housed in the Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto, this provincial operation has recently hired staff and is currently getting up and running. More details to follow.
  • The City of Toronto recently provided RHN with a $5,000 grant based on a proposal to address cultural intersections in anti-homophobia training and education to health and social care professionals.
  • RHN was awarded the 2008 Pride Gala Award in the category of ‘Science, Medicine and Technology’ by the Pride Committee of Toronto. The award was presented June 24th, 2008 by former Minister of Health George Smitherman to RHN representatives Nick Mulé (RHN Chairperson, CLGRO Spokesperson), Richard Hudler (RHN Treasurer, CLGRO Administrator) Phyllis Waugh (RHN Secretary, CLGRO Member) and Susan Gapka (RHN Member at Large, Trans Health Lobby Group Chairperson) at a gala event.

Further to all of these developments, RHN is currently in the process of creating policies and procedures in moving forward with its work.

Minutes Summary

CLGRO Annual General Meeting and Steering Committee Meeting Toronto, May 3, 2008.

At the Annual General Meeting Brent Southin, Chair; Tom Warner, Treasurer and Nick Mulé, Secretary were returned as CLGRO Directors. David Smith was elected as Memberat- Large. There remain vacancies for five members-at-large, only two of whom may be male. The membership, administrator, and group reports were approved along with the 2008/09 budget. Steering Committee Meetings for next year were set at September 6, 2008; January 10, 2009 and May 2, 2009 which will also include the Annual General Meeting. Since there were not enough members present to form a quorum, the decisions from this meeting will need to be ratified at the next Steering Committee Meeting. If there are any objections the Steering Committee should be notified before the September meeting.

A major portion of the meeting was spent discussing the new website with Wil deGast of Wildbytes who is setting it up. Our new website address is and the new e-mail address is query at clgro dot org. It is expected that the new website will be fully operational when the next newsletter comes out in August.

We discussed the Age of Consent legislation which is now in effect and our on-going development of a project to deal with homophobia in schools and another to change charitable status laws. We continue to monitor the new human rights legislation and promising developments in health care and we worked on celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) of which CGLRO is one of the sponsors.


ILGA XXIV World Conference:
3 – 6 November 2008, Vienna, Austria

The 24th World Conference of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) will be held in Vienna, from November 3 to 6, 2008. It will be co-organised by local member group Hosi-Wien. Its theme will be “Organising locally to bring on global change”.
ILGA conferences are open to all. This year’s conference will unfortunately have a limited number of spaces and therefore all those who are interested in attending will be asked to send an application to the office by August 3 as well as a request for a scholarship, if needed. A selection will be made in order to respect a fair regional; organizational, identity and gender balance both in terms of participation and scholarships. Regional board members elected at ILGA’s regional conferences will have priority. More information on
Women’s Newsletter: The second issue of the Newsletter of ILGA Women’s Project is available They have tried to improve its layout and contents. We are also looking for a more attractive name for the next versions of the Newsletter, which will be published every three months. The name needs to be short, clear and should be easily translated into English and Spanish, the two official languages of ILGA according to its constitution. Send your suggestions to and feel free to be creative!
Map on LGBTI rights in the world: ILGA is proud to send you the 2008 version of its map on LGBTI rights in the world on occasion of the federation’s 30th anniversary. Founded in 1978, ILGA is now a federation of over 600 groups in over 90 countries campaigning for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) rights. The map is accessible on They encourage you to publish it or have it published by your media contacts or for exhibition purposes. Thanks for mentioning ILGA’s credits, should you use it.
Report on State-sponsored Homophobia: ILGA publishes 2008 report on State-sponsored Homophobia. Being lesbian or gay is risking jail time in 86 countries and death penalty in 7, available at For more information on State Sponsored Homophobia and legislations affecting LGBTI people, ILGA’s activities around the world and at the United Nations, please contact: Stephen Barris / ILGA: 00 32 2 502 24 71

Human Rights

Human Rights system changes took effect on June 30, 2008. As a result, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) will no longer accept complaints of discrimination. All new applications alleging discrimination are to be filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). The website for the HRTO is, tel (Toronto) 416-326-1312, (Toll Free) 1-866-598-0322.
Following is part of the transition update sent to stakeholders by the Tribunal:
Facilities: The Tribunal’s new hearing and mediation facilities will be located at 655 Bay Street, 14th floor [Toronto ON M7A 2A3]. The Tribunal will continue to hold mediations and hearings in regional hearing centres, and in other locations where the accommodation of particular needs is required.
New Rules of Procedure: We are posting our Rules of Procedure, which will govern all new Applications filed under Part IV of the Code. We are also posting the Application and Response Forms, the Applicant’s and Respondent’s guides and a plain language overview of the procedure for addressing new applications. All material will be available on-line, and in alternate formats.

Individuals will be able to complete and submit the Application and Response Forms on-line. These electronic “smart forms” will guide users through the process of completing the forms, will have “drop down” menus and will link directly to the relevant sections in the applicable guides. The forms will also be available in Word format for use with screen readers, or may be downloaded and printed. Print, large print and Braille versions will be available from the Tribunal.

We have worked hard to make the Application and Response Forms easy to use and accessible. We have had the forms reviewed by plain language consultants, and “tested” them in focus groups. However, it is important to remember that a proceeding before the Tribunal is a legal proceeding. Plain language forms and guides cannot make a complex case simple or remove essential legal elements. Individuals are not required to be represented by a lawyer at the Tribunal, but parties are encouraged to seek legal advice and assistance.
Transition Cases: On May 5, 2008 we issued draft Rules of Procedure that will apply to Applications filed under the Transitional provisions of the Code. These are Applications that may be filed by individuals who have outstanding Complaints at the Commission on June 30, 2008. We invite all those interested to visit the section of the website which explains the Transition caseload procedure, and to provide comments and input on the proposed Rules.
Policies: The Tribunal has developed, and is updating a number of policies. For example, we have posted our draft Accessibility and Accommodation Policy for public comment. This policy was developed incorporating obligations under the Code as well as the service standards issued under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. We have also updated our policy on translation and interpretation, and are finalizing our policy on Public Comment and Complaints, which will provide a formal mechanism to address concerns about services provided by the Tribunal.


Conjugal and Familial Transformations: Its Implications on Individuals and Religious Institutions

Call for Papers June 4 and 5, 2009, Paris

Religious traditions have had a durable influence on matters pertaining to marriage, human relations, and sexuality, such as in the enactment of laws and rights in relation to marriage and family. However, recent transformations of conjugal (i.e. coupled) and familial relations and family structure have significantly challenged religionsanctioned normative models, representations, and practices. These transformations are characterized by the pluralization of conjugal and familial forms: mixed-race couples and intermarriage, and reconstituted, adoptive, single-parent, same-sex families etc.

Those transformations are an outcome of several developments – individualization and democratization inside the family, importance given to the place of the child, women’s access to contraception and abortion, dissociation between legal family rights and reproduction. Nevertheless, these developments cannot hide the persistence of inequalities among families, the work sphere and religious life.

The objective of these study days is to gather researchers in all fields of social sciences researching across the areas of religion, familial relations, gender, and sexual transformations. The purpose is to analyze the ways individuals and institutions act and interact in face of such transformations.

Abstracts for presentation of one page (approximately 2000 characters) should include the author’s title, affiliation, name and address. They should be sent to the organizing committee at religion.genre at yahoo dot fr before October 31, 2008. Acceptance of proposals will be announced in January 2009. It is our intention to publish the accepted papers.

Michael Kerr, Coordinator
Karuna Community Services
#310-15 Maitland Place, Toronto, ON M4Y 2X3 Canada
Phone: 416-966-3882
Fax: 416-971-6780
E-mail: kerr.michaelat gmail dot com
or: michaelbrucekerr at yahoo dot ca

Outwords Electronic

We are now able to send Outwords, the CLGRO Newsletter, electronically. If you wish an electronic copy of Outwords to forward to friends and potential new members, or if you want to save trees and CLGRO postage and mailing costs by receiving your newsletter through e-mail, just send an e-mail to [image email] saying so.

Planned Giving
Have you considered planned giving to CLGRO? Planned giving means leaving a bequest in your will for a donation to be made from the proceeds of your estate once you have passed on. It’s an easy and effective way of ensuring that a group and a cause you have supported during your lifetime can continue to thrive. Including CLGRO in your planned giving would be a tangible way for you to leave a lasting legacy and to ensure that the movement to advance the liberation of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals will continue. The amount you choose to leave as a gift would be up to you – and you should talk to a lawyer or financial advisor about that. As for CLGRO, we would be enormously grateful to receive a bequest of any amount and would be certain to put it to good use!

About the Newsletter

Outwords is published three times a year by CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario. Except for editorials, the views expressed in Outwords are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of CLGRO or its member organizations. Articles may be accepted at the discretion of the editor. The purpose of the newsletter is to keep the membership informed about CLGRO activities and other matters of interest.

Newsletters are mailed free to CLGRO members. Join CLGRO by completing the membership form below!

Contributors to this Newsletter are: Richard Hudler, Nick Mulé, David Smith, and Tom Warner.


CLGRO is an organization composed of groups and individuals committed to working towards feminism and lesbian, gay, and bisexual liberation by engaging in public struggle for full human rights, by promoting diversity and access within our communities, and by strengthening cooperative networks for feminism and lesbian, gay, and bisexual activism.

CLGRO – the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay rights in Ontario
Box 822, Station A, Toronto Ont. M5W 1G3, Canada

phone (416) 405-8253
e-mail query at clgro dot org

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