History

WAY TO GO!
CLGRO 1975 – 2007: A Short History


CLGRO

The Coalition for Lesbian & Gay Rights in Ontario (CLGRO) is a provincial coalition with 24 member groups and hundreds of individual members around Ontario.

Founded in January 1975, CLGRO worked steadily in a successful campaign for the inclusion of human rights protection for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals in the Ontario Human Rights Code: “sexual orientation” was finally included in the Code in December 1986.

In addition to working for legislative change, CLGRO is committed to grassroots organizing and public education.

1975

January 18 & 19

Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario is founded by representatives from nine groups from different parts of the province. Programmes and strategies adopted.

February

CGRO establishes the Committee to Defend John Damien, in support of a gay man recently fired by the Ontario Racing Commission solely for being gay.

September

“Sexual Orientation in the Human Rights Code” and “Reinstate John Damien” – CGRO makes these two issues important in the provincial election. 250 rally in front of the Legislature.

CGRO completes first brief to the Ontario Legislature: The Homosexual Minority in Ontario.

December

50 CGRO supporters picket the Ontario Legislature, calling for Ontario Human Rights Code amendment.

1975-76

CGRO coordinates group presentations to government committee reviewing the OHRC.


 

 

1976

February

60 lesbians and gay men attend the first CGRO conference in Guelph. CGRO now has 15 member groups.

May

40 women and 60 men attend the Lesbians in the Gay Movement conference in Kingston, initiated by CGRO.

September

Media guidelines are drafted for CGRO by The Body Politic.


Top of Page

 

1977

April

100 attend the second annual CGRO conference in Ottawa and adopt new election strategy and education policy.

May

CGRO election campaign slogan, “Vote for Gay Rights – Vote Against the Tories,” generates extensive media coverage. 100 rally at City Hall in Toronto.

July

Life Together report by the Ontario Human Rights Commission recommends that “sexual orientation” be added to the Code.

September

CGRO updates its human rights strategy.

November

CGRO delegation meets with caucus of Ontario Liberal Party.


1978

March

CGRO’s second brief, Discrimination & the Gay Minority, presented at Queen’s Park press conference, gains support from a Toronto Star editorial and a Globe & Mail Queen’s Park columnist.

September

Never Going Back conference adopts new structures for CGRO and opens the coalition to individual members.


Top of Page

 

1979

March

CGRO and the Committee to Defend John Damien bring Pat Bond to Toronto for Damien Benefit performance.

May

CGRO representatives meet with Labour Minister, Robert Elgie, to urge Human Rights Code protection for lesbians and gay men.

August

Gearing Up conference launches the CGRO Human Rights Campaign Committee.

September

The Globe & Mail, after pressure from CGRO, accepts the word “gay” in classified ads.

November

CGRO declares Gay Human Rights Day; rally addressed by Scarborough Mayor, Gus Harris. Robin Tyler performs.

December

CGRO meets full Ontario Human Rights Commission to discuss impending legislation. Commission reaffirms support for Life Together recommendations.


Top of Page

 

1980

February

$4,000 PLURA grant provides funding to hire CGRO grassroots organizer, Robin Hardy, for six months’ work around the province.

March

CGRO hires its first full-time office manager, Harold Desmarais, with the support of Toronto gay businesses.

May

Grassroots Conference sets resource development and community outreach as CGRO priorities.

December

CGRO-organized campaign floods NDP and Liberal MPPs with letters protesting the exclusion of “sexual orientation” from the OHRC amendments in Bill 209.


Top of Page

 

1981

January

Christine Donald hired as new full-time office manager.

February

CGRO plays leading role in organizing the first huge demonstration after the February 5th baths’ raids.

Fundraising brunch at Katrina’s in Toronto in honour of John Damien, attended by many notable people.

Toronto Gay Community Appeal provides $1,000 towards new CGRO brief on the Human Rights Code.

March

Margaret Atwood, Laurier Lapierre, and others speak at CGRO’s Gay Freedom Rally. The Nylons sing. Over 1,000 pack the St. Lawrence Market.

March

CGRO’s publishes educational tabloid, Who Are These People & What Do They Want?, which meets with much praise.

April

CGRO’s third brief, The Ontario Human Rights Omission, is published and presented to MPPs.

May

200 demonstrate (despite downpour) outside Queen’s Park at a rally addressed by Liberal leader Stuart Smith and Tory Susan Fish on the eve of a new bill to amend the Code.

CGRO sends representative to the Binational Lesbian Conference in Vancouver.

CGRO initiates and plays active role in setting up the Toronto Gay Community Council.

June

CGRO delegation appears before legislative committee hearing on Bill 7, winning much praise for new brief.

August

CGRO presents brief to Arnold Bruner at Jarvis Collegiate public meeting on gays and the police in Toronto.

November

Bill amending the OHRC passes – with no mention of “sexual orientation.”

CGRO confirms resource development as a priority, commits itself to holding a school for gay activists.


Top of Page

 

1982

February

CGRO agrees to produce an organizing manual for lesbian and gay activists and to reprint its educational tabloid, Who Are These People & What Do They Want?

CGRO protests to Sheridan College their refusal to allow a discussion of homosexuality to take place on the Brampton campus.

CGRO protests to the Students’ Council of Wilfrid Laurier University their refusal to recognize a new campus gay group.

CGRO commits itself to producing a What Is CGRO? slide show.

July

CGRO hosts Out Front — Lesbians in the Gay Liberation Movement, a series of workshops for lesbians held as part of the Doing It! national conference.

CGRO manual, The Gay Organizer, jointly produced with member group RTPC (the Right to Privacy Committee) is published and launched at the Doing It! national conference.

September

First CGRO bike-a-thon held on the Toronto Islands.

October

CGRO holds first LOTTO CGRO, offering as first prize a trip for two to New York. Proceeds go to reprinting the tabloid.

CGRO holds Challenge ’82 conference in London, with focus on group process and organization.

November

CGRO lodges complaint with Revenue Canada over alleged improper use of charitable donations by Renaissance International to fund antigay political lobbying. Complaint results in Revenue Canada investigation.


Top of Page

 

1983

January

CGRO protests Attorney General Roy McMurtry’s decision to appeal the most recent acquittal of The Body Politic over the “Men Loving Boys Loving Men” article.

CGRO endorses the demand of OCAC (the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics) for the legalization in Ontario of freestanding abortion clinics.

March

10,000 copies of the Who Are These People… tabloid are reprinted and distributed.

CGRO steering committee meets in Niagara Falls and holds a workshop on the attitudes and assumptions on which sexism is based.

May

CGRO holds The Great Pansy Draw lottery to fund the printing of a French version of the tabloid.

CGRO launches municipal-level campaign to get cities in Ontario to pass by-laws prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

CGRO steering committee holds a workshop, “Pots & Kettles,” investigating systemic and individual racism.

July

CGRO joins national coalition to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the United Nations’ Charter of Human Rights.

CGRO supports the dropping of the charges against Dr. Morgentaler for performing abortions in free-standing clinics.

A complaint is laid with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (though the Ontario HRC refuses to accept one) against Jimmy Swaggart’s The Evangelist, in which it is claimed that homosexuals are “worthy of death.” CHRC is compelled to judge that the Human Rights Act was not contravened, as “sexual orientation” isn’t covered in the Act.

November

CGRO endorses British Columbia’s Solidarity Coalition in their protest against the BC government’s restraint program and its effect on the BC Human Rights Commission.

Gays of Ottawa (GO) presents a brief on behalf of CGRO to a Senate Committee looking at Bill C-157 and the federal government’s security provisions, the RCMP, and so on.

December

CGRO organizes a picket of the US Embassy in Toronto to protest the excessively speedy release from jail of Dan White, murderer of Harvey Milk.


Top of Page

 

1984

January

CGRO participates in a committee of the Toronto Board of Education investigating attitudes towards lesbians and gay men in schools.

CGRO writes to the Fraser Commission on Pornography & Prostitution to state that no material should be censored on the sole grounds of describing/depicting same-sex activity.

March

College for Gay Rights Organizing held in Waterloo, a how-to weekend course for lesbian and gay organizers, featuring lectures, seminars, exercises, and films.

April

Show & Tell lottery provides funding for an educational slide show on homosexuality.

December

CGRO begins a comprehensive review of its structure and organizational objectives and prepares a planning guide for the future.


Top of Page

 

1985

February

CGRO representative attends National Symposium on Equality Rights to discuss prospective impact of new Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms.

CGRO protests to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, with notification to the OHRC and the OPP Hate Literature Project, re: three pieces of religious antigay propaganda.

CGRO protests sexist and antigay TV commercial from Molson’s Brewery. Molson’s apologises and withdraws commercial.

April

Getting It Together, CGRO’s second weekend course for lesbian and gay organizing, is held in Toronto.

CGRO sends written submission to federal parliamentary commission on equality rights provisions of the new Charter of Rights & Freedoms, calling on the Canadian government to extend the provisions of section 15 to include “sexual orientation.”

August

CGRO makes an oral presentation to the Parliamentary Commission on Equality Rights.

September

CGRO prepares backgrounder leaflet for groups to use as a guide in responding to the OPP’s washroom arrests in small towns round the province.

1985-86

CGRO reorganizes method of working in steering committee meetings, using a facilitation process, to revitalize group, make participation at meetings more egalitarian, and spread the workload more widely, involving more people and generating more enthusiasm.


Top of Page

 

1986

February

CGRO appears before committee of the Canadian Bar Association to urge legal protection for people living with AIDS and confidentiality of AIDS-related data.

Bill 7 to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code is introduced without the addition of “sexual orientation.” CGRO appears before the Standing Committee on the Administration of Justice to urge inclusion.

March

CGRO holds press conference to welcome federal government decision to include “sexual orientation” among Charter provisions.

CGRO urges all Ontario MPPs to support a private member’s bill to include “sexual orientation” in the Code, following the findings of a Gallup Poll that 69% of Ontarians would favour this.

April

CGRO presents a preliminary version of its fourth brief to the Ontario Legislature, documenting cases of discrimination and urging protection.

May

CGRO holds press conference at Queen’s Park to publicize the brief. Later that day, the Justice Committee amends bill 7 to include the addition of “sexual orientation” to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

June – December

CGRO and RTPC launch intensive lobby campaign of MPPs to urge passage of sexual orientation amendment. Coalition for Life Together, a group of right-wing organizations, fundamentalist churches, and Roman Catholic bishops, organizes against the bill.

October

CGRO (with a grant from the Lesbian & Gay Community Appeal) produces final version of fourth brief to the Ontario Legislature, Discrimination Against Lesbians & Gay Men: the Ontario Human Rights Omission. Press conference at Queen’s Park.

November

CGRO and RTPC hold rally at St. Lawrence Market, on eve of debate in legislature, in support of Bill 7. Margaret Atwood, NDP leader Bob Rae, Liberal MPP Joan Smith, PC MPP Phil Gillies speak. 1,200 attend.

December 2

“Sexual orientation” amendment passed by Ontario Legislature after two weeks of highly charged debate and much media attention. PC filibuster and right-wing attacks on lesbians and gay men fail. CGRO members and others clap and cheer in packed public gallery.


Top of Page

 

1987

March

CGRO speaks at Ottawa rally urging federal government to act on equality rights amendments re: Charter of Rights & Freedoms.

CGRO meets with OHRC Chief Commissioner and staff to urge that priority be given to dealing with cases involving sexual orientation discrimination and that the OHRC conduct both internal and public education on the issue.

At the Ontario Panel on AIDS Education, CGRO stresses the need to relate effective safe sex promotion to combatting homophobia and calls for the production of educational materials which foster a positive self-image for lesbian and gay youth, show images of people with AIDS, and offer frank, pragmatic sexual information.

July

CGRO obtains draft of the Ministry of Education guidelines and ensures copies reach Ontario AIDS Network (OAN). The AIDS Committee of Ottawa is able to respond. The Ontario Human Rights Commission is asked to intervene to eradicate the blatant homophobia in the document.

September

CGRO protests TV evangelists’ AIDS Cover-Up programme which predicts the end of the world in 25 years and blames gays for AIDS. Complaints prompt CRTC investigation.

CGRO changes name to Coalition for Lesbian & Gay Rights in Ontario (CLGRO).

CLGRO endorses Toronto’s Take Back the Night march.

CLGRO addresses rally organized by the Anti-Racist Coalition on Human Rights.

Opposition to quarantining of persons with AIDS and to attempts by governments to infringe the rights of persons with AIDS is adopted as CLGRO policy.

Comprehensive review undertaken of CLGRO’s goals, strategiesbill priorities for the “post-bill 7 era.”

October

CLGRO launches postcard campaign urging federal government to add “sexual orientation” to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

50 lesbians and gay men participate in CLGRO picket to protest two years of stalling by the federal government on equality rights recommendations.


Top of Page

 

1988

March

CLGRO adopts new mission statement committing the coalition to work towards feminism and lesbian and gay liberation by engaging in public struggle for full human rights and by strengthening cooperative networks for lesbian and gay activists.

CLGRO guide produced for facilitating meetings using a consensus-based model.

CLGRO meets with new OHRC Chief Commissioner, Raj Anand, and secures commitment for lesbian and gay advisory committee to work on issues of homophobia and to undertake public education on the provisions of the Code on sexual orientation.

May

OHRC Chief Commissioner, Raj Anand, and representatives from the lesbian and gay communities address CLGRO’s Setting the Agenda public meeting – over 100 people attend.

CLGRO’s slideshow Can We Talk? is produced by N. Taylor as an educational tool for community groups. This slideshow refutes 10 common myths and misconceptions about lesbians and gay men.

CLGRO adopts new goals, strategiesbill priorities, including: grassroots organizing; education for high school students on lesbian and gay lifestyles; outreach to lesbian and gay groups; Human Rights Code amendment follow-up issues; increased communication to break down barriers and isolation; AIDS issues.

June

CLGRO establishes the Lesbian & Gay Advisory Committee to the Ontario Human Rights Commission and presents the commission with a list of lesbian and gay activists for consideration for appointment to the commission.

CLGRO presentation to the federal Minister of Immigration calls for: removal from records of deportation orders issued prior to 1977 removal of restriction on lesbian/gay visitors/immigrants; removal of entrance restrictions for those who are HIV positive; an end to the deportation of lesbians and gay men to countries where homosexuality is illegal; acceptance as immigrants of lesbians and gays who wish to join same-sex spouses in Canada.

August

Joint OHRC, CLGRO, and RTPC letter sent to lesbian and gay organizations throughout Ontario advising of the Code’s provisions and the complaint process.

September

CLGRO helps organize, and participates in, a one-day seminar for all OHRC staff on homophobia and sexual orientation discrimination.

CLGRO makes commitment to take up issues of legal recognition for lesbian and gay relationships and plans to hold a conference to set political and educational strategies.

November

New What is CLGRO? leaflet produced.

CLGRO endorses report prepared by Lesbian & Gay Youth Ottawa

Hull on high schools and the educational system and sends copies of the report to the Minister of Education and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.


Top of Page

 

1989

April

Lesbian & Gay Advisory Committee to the OHRC meets with Gerry Phillips, Minister of Citizenship, to urge appointment of a lesbian or gay human rights commissioner and to seek assurance that lesbian and gay organizations doing public education on homophobia and sexual orientation discrimination will be able to obtain funding under various government programs. No commitment is received on either point.

June

CLGRO joins Toronto Cares, a network of community groups fighting against racist and antisemitic attacks, and urges that the network also deal with homophobia.

August

CLGRO’s On Our Own Terms conference plans strategies and develops public education action on issues relating to legal recognition of lesbian and gay relationships. CLGRO establishes its Working Group on Relationship Recognition to implement the programme adopted at the conference.

November

CLGRO launches direct mail fundraising campaign for relationship recognition issues. The campaign is sponsored by Svend Robinson.

December

Lesbian & Gay Advisory Committee to OHRC meets with New Chief Commissioner, Catherine Frazee, and secures renewed commitment to the advisory process. Committee presses Commission to be more pro-active on issues relating to recognition of lesbian and gay relationships.


Top of Page

 

1990

January

Lesbian & Gay Advisory Committee to OHRC meets with Bob Wong, new Minister of Citizenship to renew concerns expressed to previous minister and to press for amendment of the Code so that the harassment provisions will include sexual orientation; also pressed to recommend that the discriminatory definition of “spouse” in the Code and other legislation be amended so that lesbian and gay relationships will be legally recognized. No commitments made by the minister.

February

CLGRO holds 15th anniversary reception and reunion attended by OHRC Chief Commissioner, Catherine Frazee and by lesbian and gay activists from all over Ontario.

March

CLGRO endorses the employment equity policy of the Ontario College of Art under which all positions vacated because of retirement are to be filled by women. CLGRO also calls on OCA to encourage applications from lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals.

CLGRO receives $8,000 from the Lesbian & Gay Community Appeal to publish a practical guide on the legal situation of same-sex relationships.

CLGRO sends petitions to Premier David Peterson to appoint an openly gay or lesbian Ontario Human Rights Commissioner.

May

CLGRO hires Laurie Bell to research and write the practical guide.

CLGRO receives a $4500 grant from the Ontario Women’s Directorate to assist in the publication of the practical guide.

June

CLGRO speaks on a panel at the annual conference of the Ontario Professional Health Association, which later passes a resolution calling for a study paper and development of strategies on homophobia, violence, and sexual orientation discrimination.

CLGRO writes to all members of the Ontario Legislature urging the amendment of Ontario laws to legally recognize same-sex relationships.

August

Liberal Attorney General Ian Scott replies to CLGRO with a long letter indicating that the government is reviewing “over 70″ laws that would have to be amended to recognize same-sex relationships and suggesting that moving to a system of benefits based on dependency might be preferable.

Opposition Leader Bob Rae responds to CLGRO by stating that the NDP is opposed to “systemic discrimination against all disadvantaged groups” and concluding: “While some of the implications of the taxation and legal problems you have identified need to be worked out, I want to assure you of our continuing support for equal treatment of same-sex couples”.

September

The NDP under Bob Rae wins a majority government in the provincial election.

Bike-a-thon on Toronto Islands raises $1,000 for CLGRO.

University groups for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, meeting during a CLGRO Steering Committee meeting, agree to set up a provincial network.

October

CLGRO writes to NDP Citizenship Minister, Elaine Ziemba, calling for the appointment of a gay or lesbian commissioner to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, amendment of the harassment provisions of the Human Rights Code by including sexual orientation, legislation to legally recognize same-sex relationships, and revision of provincial funding programs to include gay and lesbian groups.

December

CLGRO writes to Attorney General Howard Hampton to request that the results of the former government’s review of provincial legislation defining “spouse” be released. The letter is never answered.

Secretary of the Management Board, Frances Lankin, announces that the government will provide all benefits (except pension and survivor benefits, which are federally regulated) to its employees in same-sex relationships and promises to review provincial laws with the intent to amend them to recognize same-sex relationships.


Top of Page

 

1991

February

CLGRO writes to Premier Bob Rae and Citizenship Minister Elaine Ziemba congratulating them for announcing that employment equity legislation will be introduced, stating that if such legislation is based solely on numeric goals it will not benefit “invisible” lesbians and gays and urging that the legislation include provisions to require employers to ensure a positive work environment for lesbian and gay employees.

CLGRO meets with Citizenship Minister Ziemba; CLGRO renews demands for action.

CLGRO publishes A Quick Guide to Terminology for use by the Ontario Human Rights Commission and other agencies.

March

CLGRO requests a meeting with Attorney General Howard Hampton to discuss amendment of provincial laws to recognize same-sex relationships. The letter is never answered.

CLGRO launches On Our Own Terms, A Practical Guide for Gay & Lesbian Relationships, written by Laurie Bell. The book is distributed Canada-wide.

Lesbian & Gay Community Appeal awards CLGRO $1,000 to hold a conference on homophobia in the education system.

CLGRO makes a submission to Metro’s management committee in support of Bill Dwyer, who is attempting to secure same-sex benefits recognition by his employer, Metropolitan Toronto.

April

CLGRO publishes an educational leaflet, Washroom & Park Arrests, to help community respond to the media and provide support to those arrested following police activity against men engaging in sexual activity in parks and public washrooms.

May

Carmen Paquette, a lesbian from Ottawa recommended by CLGRO, is appointed as a commissioner to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the first time in Canada that an openly gay or lesbian person is appointed to a government rights agency.

Attorney General Howard Hampton tells media that the government will proceed later in the year with amendments to provincial laws so that same-sex relationships will be legally recognized.

June

CLGRO holds a press conference to announce that Mary-Woo Sims has launched a human rights complaint against the Metropolitan Toronto government and the provincial government after she is refused same-sex benefits for her partner under Metro’s employment and pension plans.

October

CLGRO publishes We Count: Lesbians, Gay Men, & Employment Equity, a brief calling for inclusion of gays and lesbians in the proposed employment equity legislation. The brief, which is presented to all members of the Ontario legislature, urges protection for gays and lesbians in the qualitative measures (workplace environment and education) of the legislation but does not seek numeric goals or timetables because of pervasive homophobia, the risks involved with coming out in the workplace, and, of course, the lack of reliable numerical data. CLGRO is the first group in Canada to articulate the need for inclusion of gays and lesbians in such legislation.

CLGRO attends the consultation meeting, Police Response to Wife Assault Protocol of the Ministry of the Solicitor General, to call for the education of police on homophobia and issues involving violence in same-sex relationships.

November

Over 100 activists and educators attend CLGRO’s Out in the Classroom, a provincial conference on homophobia and heterosexism in the education system, held in Guelph.

In a submission to Ontario’s Standing Committee on the Administration of Justice, CLGRO calls for the recognition of same-sex relationships within three bills being debated in the legislature: the Substitute Decisions Act, the Consent to Treatment Act, and the Consent & Capacity Statute Law Amendment Act.

Winter 1991 – Spring 1992

CLGRO and several of its member groups make presentations to the Employment Equity Commission as it holds public consultation hearings in nine cities throughout Ontario.

A CLGRO representative joins the Fair Tax Commission’s Women & Taxation Working Group which will make recommendations to the Minister of Finance & Economics in September 1992 on how fairness for women can be achieved in the Ontario tax system. One of the recommendations is that same-sex relationships should be recognized for both tax purposes and support obligations.


Top of Page

 

1992

January

CLGRO holds A Celebration of Lesbian & Gay Rights in Ontario to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the inclusion of “sexual orientation” in the Ontario Human Rights Code. Over 75 people attend to hear community activists, Citizenship Minister Elaine Ziemba, former Attorney General Ian Scott, OHRC Chief Commissioner Catherine Frazee, and OHRC Commissioner Carmen Paquette.

March

CLGRO participates in a demonstration at the office of PC MP David McDonald to protest the five-year delay by the Mulroney government on its promise to add “sexual orientation” to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Spring

CLGRO participates in consultations with the Toronto Board of Education during its development of a human sexuality program.

April

Health & Welfare Canada awards CLGRO $375,000 over three years for Project Affirmation, which will study the health and social -service needs of sexual minorities in Ontario. In 1993, Health & Welfare Canada will grant a further $75,000 to provide outreach funding.

CLGRO begins an intensive lobbying campaign and meets with key Ontario cabinet ministers to urge them to introduce the promised legislation to legally recognize same-sex relationships.

May

CLGRO begins process of incorporation as a non-profit, non-charitable organization under provincial legislation.

CLGRO and other groups lobby Metro Toronto councillors to adopt a policy granting same-sex spousal benefits to their employees.

June

Metro Toronto Council, by a vote of 18-15, approves same-sex spousal benefits (excluding pension benefits) for gay and lesbian employees.

CLGRO launches its Pink Postcard Campaign urging people across the province to send a card to Premier Bob Rae calling upon him to introduce legislation for legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

July

CLGRO publishes brief, Happy Families. The brief, presented to all members of the Ontario legislature, surveys the 79 provincial laws that discriminate against same-sex relationships and proposes wording for amendments, with an inclusive definition of “spouse”. The brief also calls for the establishment of a relationship registry system under which registered same-sex relationships would have the same rights and obligations as registered opposite-sex relationships.

CLGRO holds a sit-in at the office of Attorney General Howard Hampton to protest the government’s delay in introducing relationships recognition legislation.

September

CLGRO holds a press conference at Queen’s Park to publicize the findings of a Human Rights Board of Inquiry in the case of Michael Leshner. The board found the provincial government’s refusal to grant pension and survivor benefits to those in same-sex relationships in violation of the equality provisions of the Charter of Rights & Freedoms. The decision receives national media coverage.

CLGRO launches a telephone and fax campaign to lobby the provincial government not to appeal the Leshner decision. This is to counteract a strong campaign by the religious right.

Ontario AG Howard Hampton tells CLGRO that the government will not appeal the Leshner decision but then leaves it to CLGRO spokespersons to make the announcement to the media waiting outside his office.

In response to growing speculation that any legislation to be introduced would be limited to employment and would not deal with such areas as adoption or family law, the CLGRO Steering Committee reconfirms its position that rights for lesbians and gays cannot be divided into those that can be obtained immediately and those that can wait until the future.

CLGRO endorses a “No” vote in the national referendum on the Charlottetown Constitutional Accord, joining with women’s and minority-community groups in stating that the equality rights guaranteed by Section 15 of the Charter would be diminished under the provisions of the accord which would establish an offensive “hierarchy” of rights.

CLGRO approves the establishment of the management committee and hiring of the staff for Project Affirmation.

CLGRO participates in an OWAC (Ontario Women’s Action Coalition) demonstration at the Toronto headquarters of the national Progressive Conservative Party to protest against the PC “family caucus” which is opposed to rights for gays and lesbians.

October

CLGRO meets with Liberal Leader Lyn McLeod, and Liberal Human Rights Critic Alvin Curling, to seek support for legislation to legalize same-sex relationships. McLeod then writes to Howard Hampton calling on him to release the results of the review that the government claimed it had undertaken of the various provincial laws that define “spouse.”

November

CLGRO receives its letters patent as an incorporated, non-profit organization.

December

CLGRO delivers 7,000 Pink Postcards to Bob Rae, calling on him to introduce a same-sex relationship recognition bill immediately.

CLGRO meets with Citizenship Minister Elaine Ziemba to lobby for the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the employment equity legislation.


Top of Page

 

1993

February

The CLGRO Steering Committee adopts a resolution that lesbians, gays, and bisexuals should have equal access to services dealing with violence in relationships and that service providers in these areas must receive gay-positive training as well as education about homophobia and heterosexism.

CLGRO founding member Tom Warner is appointed as a Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

At its first annual general meeting after incorporation, CLGRO adopts bylaws to replace the former constitution.

The Steering Committee approves the establishment of a broadly-based coalition, of which CLGRO would be a member, to work on relationship recognition.

CLGRO holds a community forum in Toronto on relationship recognition to seek input from and to update members of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual communities.

March

During a by-election campaign in Toronto’s St. George-St. David riding, Liberal Leader Lyn McLeod writes to Premier Rae calling upon him to introduce legislation to recognize same-sex employment benefits and pledging that she will “do everything possible to facilitate passage.” The letter also says that a Liberal government will “move swiftly” to change the laws if the NDP and the courts do not do so. However, both her letter and a press conference statement fall short of saying she supports the recommendations for relationship recognition made in the CLGRO brief, Happy Families.

Lyn McLeod, in a letter to CLGRO, states that she supports the “extension of family and survivor benefits to same-sex couples.” She also states there must be an “end to discrimination against lesbians and gays,” and that “Ontario legislation should be made consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms.”

Tim Murphy, Liberal candidate in the St. George-St. David by-election, runs advertisements saying he supports the recommendations made in CLGRO’s brief Happy Families and promises to bring in a private member’s bill to that effect if elected.

CLGRO holds a demonstration at the NDP nomination meeting to select a candidate in the by-election.

May

CLGRO adopts a bylaw adding bisexuals to CLGRO’s mission statement and policies. Another bylaw is added expanding CLGRO’s objectives “to recognize and foster awareness that lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men experience the world differently depending on their sex, race, age, class, dis/ability, language, and other factors, and that for many of us the struggle for equality for bisexuals, lesbians, and gay men cannot be separated from other campaigns for justice in which we are engaged.”

June

Newly elected Liberal MPP Tim Murphy introduces a private member’s bill to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code to change the definition of “marital status” in the Ontario Human Rights Code and to include “sexual orientation” among the anti-harassment provisions of the Code. The bill fails to incorporate the recommendations of CLGRO’s Happy Families as promised. Bill 45 passes second reading, supported by most NDP members but only a handful of Liberals, including Lyn McLeod.

Newly appointed Attorney General Marion Boyd announces at the Lesbian & Gay Pride Day service held by the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto that the government will bring in a same-sex relationship recognition bill by the end of the year.

Bill 45 is met with fierce opposition by “family values” and religious right organizations, who flood Queen’s Park with petitions and phone calls opposing rights for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Some petitions demand that sexual orientation be removed from the Ontario Human Rights Code, so that discrimination against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals would be legitimate.

August

CLGRO representatives appear before Ontario’s Standing Committee on the Administration of Justice to urge that bisexuals, gays, and lesbians be included in the Employment Equity Act.

September

Project Affirmation begins community consultations in cities throughout Ontario.

CLGRO calls for the repeal of Bill C-128, passed in fall 1993 as section 163.1 of the Criminal Code, condemning it as a sweeping law that will be used against gay teens and adult gay men under the guise of combatting child sexual assault and “child pornography”. The law defines a “child” as someone under the age of 18. CLGRO agrees to provide funding to assist Forum 128 in the publication of an leaflet, Young People & Sex, to provide information on the ages of consent and the provisions of the Criminal Code.

CLGRO prepares a lobby kit, with sample letters and a petition on relationship recognition, and distributes it to bisexual, gay, lesbian, women’s, advocacy, and labour organizations throughout Ontario.

October

During a meeting with CLGRO, Citizenship Minister Elaine Ziemba states that bisexuals, gays, and lesbians not will be a designated group under the Employment Equity Act, nor will they be specifically mentioned in the preamble to the Act. She cites homophobia and political opposition as the reasons for this. CLGRO resolves to continue to press for the inclusion of bisexuals, gays, and lesbians within the qualitative measures sections of the Act.

November

CLGRO produces three, 30-second PSAs (public service announcements) for airing on Ontario television stations. The announcements focus on relationship recognition and end with a message urging viewers to write their MPPs. Unveiled at a press conference which generates national media coverage, the PSAs were made with donated services and the expenditure of only $3000 to cover basic material costs.

CLGRO agrees to participate with Toronto’s 519 Church Street Community Centre, Project Affirmation, and the Lesbian & Gay Youth Line in the production of a provincial directory of bisexual, gay, and lesbian organizations, to be called The Rainbow Directory.

CLGRO co-sponsors, Taking the Next Step, a brief presented by LEGIT, the Lesbian & Gay Immigration Task Force to the Federal Minister of Immigration. The brief calls for the formal recognition of same-sex spousal relationships in Canadian immigration policy.

December

CLGRO, with the volunteer assistance of an advertising agency, distributes the PSAs to all television stations in Ontario, but they are deemed “too controversial” and are not broadcast by any station. CLGRO registers a complaint of homophobia with the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission). Cable stations in Toronto and London eventually agree to air them as fillers between programs.


Top of Page

 

1994

February

50 people attend a midday CLGRO demonstration at Queen’s Park. Afterwards, 20 demonstrators hold a sit-in outside the offices of Premier Bob Rae to protest the government’s inaction. Police carry out 10 people, but no one is arrested.

CLGRO sponsors a February 14th community meeting in Toronto to launch an intensive campaign to secure the passage of a same-sex relationship recognition bill. Over 300 people attend.

CLGRO makes a submission to the Ontario Royal Commission on Learning stating that, on all counts, “homophobia impedes learning”.

March

CLGRO is approved by the Canadian organizing committee for the United Nation’s International Year of the Family as a participating organization.

100 people participate in March 21 demonstration outside the office of Attorney General Marion Boyd to protest the fact that a bill for legal recognition of same-sex relationships still has not yet been introduced.

The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission) decides to take no action in response to CLGRO’s complaint of homophobia with respect to the fact that no Ontario television stations would agree to air the PSAs on relationship recognition.

April

Elizabeth Shepherd’s Toronto benefit performance of the play Immediate Family draws and audience of 125 people and raises over $3,000 for CLGRO’s relationship recognition campaign,

The CLGRO PSAs are re-done to remove the message calling on viewers to write their MPPs and to add a message about International Year of the Family. They are resubmitted to all commercial television stations in Ontario but are still not aired.

May

Attorney General Marion Boyd announces that the government will introduce a bill granting legal recognition to same-sex relationships but will also permit a free vote of the members of the legislature.

May 19: Bill 167 is introduced and narrowly survives first reading by a vote of 57-52, with 20 MPPs absent. Only four Liberal MPPs vote in favour of the bill. All Progressive Conservative members vote against.

Liberal Leader Lyn McLeod and Progressive Conservative Leader Michael Harris announce that they will not support Bill 167.

CLGRO members Tom Warner and Mary-Woo Sims are the founding co-chairs of the Campaign for Equal Families, established to co-ordinate the lobbying for the passage of Bill 167. The CLGRO Working Group on Relationship Recognition is subsumed into CEF.

A campaign of homophobia is unleashed by the religious right, joined by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Toronto, and led by NDP backbenchers and some PC members.

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual communities across Ontario, joined by supporters in women’s organizations, the labour movement, other equity groups, the arts and theatre community, social service organizations, and many others, mobilize to secure passage of the bill.

The Campaign for Equal Families opens an office, hires provincial organizers, and secures letters and petition signatures from over 20,000 people throughout Ontario in support of Bill 167. Nearly $60,000 is raised to fund the campaign.

June 9

Bill 167 is defeated on second reading by a vote of 68-59, despite a last-minute announcement by the government that it would be removing the provisions permitting same-sex couples to adopt children and would introduce a term, “domestic partner”, to include same-sex relationships, rather than amending the definition of spouse. Lyn McLeod and all but three Liberal MPPs vote against the bill, as do all Progressive Conservative members and 12 NDP members.

Following the vote, supporters of Bill 167 shout “Shame!” from the public galleries and are escorted out by security guards. They continue their demonstration outside the legislative chamber until Ontario Provincial Police, wearing white latex gloves, shove them out the front doors. Later that evening, thousands of people take to the streets to protest the defeat of the bill, returning to Queen’s Park to hear speeches by community activists.

June

The Campaign for Equal Families decides to become a permanent organization, separate from CLGRO, working for equal rights for same-sex spousal relationships and for gay and lesbian civil rights.

In Canada’s largest Lesbian & Gay Pride Day march, over 300,000 descend on Queen’s Park to express anger at the defeat of Bill 167.

July

The Campaign for Equal Families purchases air time on five Ontario television stations to broadcast the CLGRO public service announcements over a three-week period at a cost of $12,000.

September

CLGRO endorses a letter to the Minister of Education from Education Against Homophobia and the Sexual Orientation in Education Project demanding specific measures to deal with homophobia and sexual orientation issues in the education system.

CLGRO supports a proposal calling for the establishment of a federal royal commission on the status of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals in Canada.

October

CLGRO meets with Ontario’s Employment Equity Commissioner and secures a commitment to set up a working group of Commission staff and CLGRO members to develop anti-homophobia and anti-heterosexism education programs for Ontario workplaces.

November

CLGRO, in co-operation with Education Against Homophobia and the Sexual Orientation in Education Project, develops a funding proposal to research and write a brief on homophobia and heterosexism in the education system.

CLGRO writes to all Ontario MPPs and the leaders of all federal political parties calling upon them to support a bill to amend the Criminal Code to provide more severe penalties for crimes in which hate on the basis of sexual orientation is a factor, the inclusion of sexual orientation in the Canadian Human Rights Act, and the legal recognition of same-sex relationships in federal laws.

December

CLGRO develops a comprehensive education program to combat homophobia and heterosexism. The program targets employers and service providers and components include “training the trainers”, resource development, and implementation strategy. Funding is sought from the Trillium Foundation and other sources.

December

CLGRO holds a community meeting in Toronto to begin planning a community strategy, with other groups, for the upcoming provincial election.


Top of Page

 

1995

January

A Toronto reception on January 21 kicks off a year of events to celebrate CLGRO’s 20th anniversary in 1995.

CLGRO, the 519 Church Street Community Centre, Project Affirmation, and the Lesbian & Gay Youth Line launch the provincial directory of bisexual, gay, and lesbian organizations, The Rainbow Directory.

February

CLGRO responds to the Project Guardian arrests in London and Toronto, charging that: the arrests are selective enforcement and bad application of the law; evidence was obtained by coercion and based on mere allegations; the project does not recognize the role of homophobia in the response to male teen prostitution.

CLGRO representatives speak at the Repeal the Youth Porn Law (RYPL) rally.

Letter sent to London Police expressing concerns about Project Guardian.

Letter sent to the Royal Commission of Learning expressing disappointment that issues of homophobia were left out of their report despite our input.

April

CLGRO endorses and participates in the successful Northern Ontario Lesbian, Gay, & Bisexual Conference held in Sudbury.

The Lesbian & Gay Agenda for Elections ’95, prepared by CLGRO and other groups, is officially launched at the Northern Ontario Lesbian, Gay, & Bisexual Conference with a press conference. A brochure and brief summarize issues that need to be addressed during and after the provincial election. These resources are designed for local groups and individuals to use when questioning local candidates.

May

The Carmen M appeal succeeds: three Ontario Court of Appeal judges unanimously strike down the differential age of consent for anal intercourse as unconstitutional; CLGRO has intervenor status thanks to the donated services of Toronto lawyer David Corbett.

CLGRO approves a special $20 fee for individual members in support of our 20th anniversary.

CLGRO prepares and releases the pamphlet We Count! Including Lesbians, Gay Men, & Bisexuals in EMPLOYMENT EQUITY.

The CLGRO mission statement is amended to read as follows: CLGRO is an organization composed of groups and individuals who are committed to working towards feminism, lesbian, gay, and bisexual liberation by engaging in public struggle for full human rights, by promoting diversity and accessibility within our communities, and by strengthening cooperative networks for feminism and lesbian, gay, and bisexual activism.

June

On the first anniversary of the defeat of bill 167 and on the day after the election of the Progressive Conservatives under Mike Harris, CLGRO and other groups lead a demonstration of 500 people focussing on fears that the new governmentÕs Òcommon sense revolutionÓ will exclude legislative amendments to remove discrimination against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in provincial statutes.

September

CLGRO agrees to set up a non-charitable trust fund as part of a new financial structure.

The Pass It On historical exhibit, sponsored by CLGRO, the Lesbian & Gay Community Appeal, and the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Archives, is launched and presents a series of panel discussions.

The CLGRO banner goes to a QueenÕs Park rally/demonstration protesting the Harris governmentÕs cuts to health and social services.

Sexual Orientation Education Project (SOEP), a working group of CLGRO, sends a letter to the Minister of Education saying that meetings with the ministry had started before the change in government and they want to continue them.

November

CLGRO issues a press release denouncing bill 11, which enshrines property rights in provincial laws and would thus obstruct the Ontario Human Rights CommissionÕs ability to deal with complaints.

Social-work student Ken English is placed at CLGRO to acquire practicum aspect of the social-work program through working with Project Affirmation.


Top of Page

 

1996

January

Letter sent to the International Lesbian & Gay Association indicating CLGRO’s reluctance to sign a letter of confirmation to maintain membership and questioning the definition and use of the word “pedophilia.”

May

The first newsletter of the Sexual Orientation in Education Project (SOEP) working group is published.

September

A letter of support is sent to Mary Ross regarding her human rights employment-discrimination complaint against LOEB supermarket in Subbury.

CLGRO sends a letter to a vendor in Wasaga Beach protesting the sale of a t-shirt saying, “silly faggot dicks are for chicks.”

CLGRO representatives attends meeting with the police in Hamilton regarding arrests at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Leaflet When Project Kiddy Porn Ring Comes to Your Area released and distributed by CLGRO.

The brief ON GUARD a Critique of Project Guardian, produced by the Homophile Association of London Ontario (HALO) and CLGRO, is released.

October

CLGRO and the Sexual Orientation in Education Project working group participate in the conference Other Young Lives II: Lesbian Gay Bisexual Youth, held in Toronto.

November

CLGRO holds Getting Into the Act, an evening of entertainment and commemoration, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the passing of bill 7 which finally included Òsexual orientationÓ in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

CLGRO launches its own website www.web.net/~clgro, set up by Patrick Gignac.

A strategic planning process establishes a list of CLGRO priorities including: schools, membership, public awareness, resources, funding and finance, and health and social services.


Top of Page

 

1997

February

Ontario Human Rights Commission Chief Commissioner Keith Norton meets with CLGRO representatives, who raise the following issues: i) “sexual orientation” must be added to the harassment sections of the Code; ii) since the employment equity act has been repealed, the commission needs to pick up the slack on systemic discrimination and workplace environment issues; iii) pressure must be put on the government to legislate in same-sex relationship recognition.

CLGRO, EGALE and ten other groups get intervener status in the CUPE & Rosenberg court case challenging the definition of “spouse” in the Income Tax Act.

April

CLGRO sends a submission to the immigration legislative review advisory group stressing the issue of spousal immigration for same-sex couples and suggesting both that common-law standing rather than marriage be the basis of same-sex and opposite-sex spousal immigration for all couples and that same-sex marriages be recognized from those countries where such marriages have legal recognition.

May

Systems Failure, the report from Project Affirmation, is finished and released at a press conference held in London, Ontario.

CLGRO makes a deposition at the Legislature on bill 105, the new police services act, (which reduces civilian scrutiny of the police forces) using some of the material from, and appending, the brief On Guard, to point out how we cannot trust chiefs of police.

September

Doug Arcand and Alnoor Karmali expand the CLGRO website www.web.net~clgro and begin to support e-mail at clgro@web.net.

November

CLGRO is represented at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s consultation about changes to the legal aid system.

EGALE’s workshop launching an “adopt an MP” campaign attended by the CLGRO steering committee.


Top of Page

 

1998

February

A submission is made to Statistics Canada by CLGRO regarding inclusion of questions determining the number of same-sex relationships in the 2001 census.

Heather Ramsay becomes CLGRO’s representative on The Women’s College Hospital community outreach committee.

March

CLGRO holds a public forum, The Queer Agenda in the New Millennium? to explore the current state of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual movement(s), where people think it/they should be going, and how to get there.

April

CLGRO co-sponsors with the 519 Community Centre’s Victim Assistance Program, and participates in, a public forum on human rights with representatives of the Canadian and Ontario human rights commissions.

May

The Young People & Sex pamphlet is updated to reflect changes in the Criminal Code, revised, and released.

CLGRO holds a congratulatory banner-signing to celebrate the Supreme Court of Canada’s positive decision in the Vriend case remedying the lack of inclusion of “sexual orientation” in Alberta human rights legislation; the banner is sent to Edmonton.

Restructuring of CLGRO results in reducing the number of meetings and newsletters to three per year with fundraising efforts similarly coordinated.

CLGRO writes to the federal minister of justice, Anne McLellan, and calls for the amendment of the Criminal Code to institute a uniform age of consent for anal intercourse, to conform with the May 1995 Ontario Court of Appeal Carmen M decision.

September

Work begins on a new backgrounder for the provincial election expected in 1999.

Presentations and articles based on Systems Failure take place across the country.

CLGRO representatives join the Toronto Mayor’s Roundtable on Gay & Lesbian Issues.

CLGRO participates in demonstrations protesting Canada’s restrictive policies concerning the admission of refugees.

CLGRO participates in a demonstration, following the transfer of medical services there from the Wellesley Hospital, protesting the negative policies of St. Michael’s Hospital concerning access to abortion and birth control and to express concern over potential homophobia in the provision of services to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

Letter sent by CLGRO to oppose the deportation to Mexico of lesbian transsexual Shadmith Chavez.

CLGRO sends a representative to a public meeting of the Toronto Police Services Board about their new complaints process under bill 105, which virtually removes all civilian oversight except for appeals.

October

CLGRO organizes a public forum, Queer Lessons, on homophobia in the education system and the effect on lesbians, gays, and bisexuals of government funding cutbacks in education.


Top of Page

 

1999

January

Now Outwords – CLGRO approves a new title and format for the CLGRO newsletter.

CLGRO prepares a response to the Ontario Curriculum 1-8 indicating the need for inclusion of issues relating to sexual orientation.

Work begins between CLGRO and the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Archives to set up a reading area, information packages, and perhaps even a website for students doing papers on sexual-orientation issues; credit goes to Sandy Barnard whose bequest money is being used to set this up.

Presentation made on behalf of CLGRO to the Toronto Board of Education to urge them to add “sexual orientation” to their Equity Policy which has been drafted to deal only with race, ethnic, and religious issues.

CLGRO prepares a response to bill C-63, the new citizenship act, and the proposal paper on a new Immigration Act.

CLGRO representative speaks at a vigil for Matthew Shepard, who was murdered by gay bashers in Montana, US.

February

CLGRO holds a public forum to get input into, and feedback about, issues and actions for the next provincial election.

Federal justice minister Anne McLellan finally responds to CLGRO on the age of consent issue; she notes that concerns have been expressed about whether the Criminal Code provisions are sufficient to protect children and states her intention to consider the issue as part of a more general review of child victimization issues.

March

CLGRO representatives participate in an Ontario Human Rights Commission seminar on disability issues and the Human Rights Code, addressing issues of sexual orientation as they relate to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals with disabilities.

May

CLGRO publishes Lesbian & Gay Issues for Election ’99, setting questions for candidates on a range of issues important to lesbian, gay, and bisexual voters, and the Provincial Election ’99 Report Card, which grades the three political parties on their performance on lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues. The materials are widely distributed across the province during the election campaign and unveiled at a media conference which produces extensive news coverage.

August

CLGRO issues a media release condemning the police for laying charges against 19 customers and one staff member of the Bijou, a Toronto porno bar, and calls for the dropping of the charges as well as the establishment of a community-based civilian oversight process to monitor police actions.

CLGRO writes to attorney general James Flaherty requesting a meeting to discuss what action the government will take in respect of the Supreme Court of Canada’s finding that the definition of “spouse” in the Family Law Act contravenes the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms. The court gave the government six months to amend the offending section. CLGRO begins preparations for a campaign to secure amendment of all of the provincial laws using the same definition.

October

CLGRO launches a province-wide postcard campaign, Nothing Less Than Equality, calling on Premier Mike Harris to amend all provincial laws to comply with the Supreme Court decision and legally recognize same-sex relationships.

The attorney general’s office tells CLGRO the AG cannot meet with us for weeks; CLGRO issues a press release calling for the amendment of all provincial laws and accusing the AG of stalling; the next day, the AG’s office calls to arrange a meeting.

On October 18, CLGRO representatives meet with attorney general James Flaherty and renew the call for the amendment of all provincial laws. The attorney general makes no commitments but CLGRO leaves the meeting convinced a government announcement is imminent.

The Harris government, on October 25, introduces “Bill 5, An Act to Amend Certain Statutes Because of the Supreme Court of Canada Decision in M v. H.” The bill changes 67 provincial laws, introducing a new term “same-sex partner” and establishing for same-sex relationships almost all the rights and responsibilities that opposite-sex common-law relationships have; however, the bill does not alter the the Income Tax Act (Ontario) which uses the same definition appearing in the Income Tax Act (Canada).

CLGRO decides to support bill 5, despite the government’s offensive title for the bill and its rhetoric aimed at placating its social conservative constituency (the government says it was forced to act by the Supreme Court and that it has preserved in law the use of the terms “spouse” and “marital status” to apply only to heterosexual relationships). CLGRO’s decision to support the legislation recognizes that the government, in amending all laws and not just the Family Law Act, went further than it needed to do and that Bill 5 was the best that could be achieved from a government committed to “family values.”

On October 25 and 26, CLGRO lobbies members of the opposition Liberal and New Democratic parties, urging them to support Bill 5. A public call is made for all parties to support the law and to adopt it as quickly as possible.

On October 27, Bill 5 receives second and third reading in a one-day session of the legislature; it is supported by members of all three parties and is given royal assent the next day. The amendment of the Family Law Act is to take effect on November 20, 1999, six months after the M v. H decision. The amendments to the other acts take effect March 1, 2000.

November

Joining a broad coalition of community groups concerned about the process used for hiring a new chief of police for Toronto, CLGRO participates in a media conference urging that Julian Fantino, former police chief in London, not be hired because of his actions and those of the London police during Project Guardian.

November 20

On the date the amendment to the Family Law Act takes effect, CLGRO holds a community forum, attended by about 50 people, on the legal implications of Bill 5.


2000

January 18-19

CLGRO celebrates its 25th anniversary: Rainbow Millennium Celebration.

February

Toronto District School Board hears presentation made by Greg Pavelich on behalf of CLGRO supporting the development of a comprehensive human rights policy to protect lesbian, gay, and bisexual students, staff, parents, and teachers.

A new CLGRO leaflet “Are We Spouses Yet?” is written by Christine Donald and approved for distribution to provide information on changes in legal recognition of same-sex couples in Ontario since Bill 5 (Oct. 1999) gave them nearly the same standing as heterosexual common-law couples.

CLGRO attends a meeting with the Hon. Hedy Fry, Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women, and MP Sue Barnes in London. Discussion includes funding for lesbian groups, CLGRO’s 25th Anniversary, immigration, hate-crimes legislation, relationship-recognition legislation, and the need for including a question about sexual orientation in the census.

March

CLGRO hires Paul de Rege for six weeks to assist in fundraising and organizing around 25th Anniversary events and a video documentary.

The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) Bulletin covers CLGRO’s 25th anniversary, including the newly designed 25th anniversary logo. CLGRO is a member of ILGA.

May

National Association of Gay and Lesbian Journalists hears presentation by CLGRO’s Richard Hudler on the subject of Project Guardian.

Nick Mulé speaks about CLGRO’s Project Affirmation at a National Health Care conference held in Vancouver.

CLGRO sponsors two screenings at the Inside/Out Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival (Journey to a Hate-Free Millennium and Life Goes On) as part of the 25th Anniversary Rainbow Millennium Celebration.

A page is added to CLGRO’s website to provide updates on the status of the 25th Anniversary projects.

CLGRO calls for members to write to Ontario 2000 – Special Projects to complain about the rejection of CLGRO’s application for funding of 25th Anniversary projects.

June

CLGRO is Honoured Group in the Toronto Pride Parade in recognition of our 25th Anniversary. Our group marches with our banner, and Tom Warner and Marie Robertson are seated in a white 1975 Cadillac convertible behind the Grand Marshals, with silver balloons, streamers, and picket signs commemorating significant events in CLGRO’s history. A booth is set up outside the 519 Community Centre. A reception is held at the NOW Lounge. Nancy Nicol films Pride events and interviews for the video documenting CLGRO’s 25 years of activism, showing some footage at the NOW Lounge.

CLGRO sponsors “Queers Making Noise – Activism of All Ages,” a forum organized by Supporting Our Youth as part of the Rainbow Millennium Celebration.

Three CLGRO volunteers are honoured by the Ontario government in the volunteer awards ceremony, receiving certificates for their longterm work: Tom Warner for 25 years, Christine Donald for 20 years, and Nick Mulé for 10 years.

July

CLGRO members meet with Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino about Project Guardian. The delegation challenges police on their use of inflammatory language and playing into harmful stereotypes, which damage our community, emphasizes that police should not dismiss the concerns of community leaders as “rhetoric”, and stresses that the existence of a gay community should be acknowledged and respected.

August

Fundraising and interviews are underway for a video about the history of lesbian and gay liberation in Canada, focussing on the 25th Anniversary of CLGRO.

CLGRO welcomes the Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario as a new supporting member group.

The Toronto District School Board sets up a Community Equity Reference Committee and invites CLGRO to participate: Greg Pavelich attends as the CLGRO representative.

September

After police raid a Toronto women’s bathhouse night, CLGRO sends a letter of support to the Women’s Bath House Committee.


Top of Page

 

2001

January

A bequest is received by CLGRO from the estate of CLGRO member William Atkinson.

A submission is sent to the Ontario Human Rights Commission on the LGB elderly for their consultation on age.

Humber College student Venessa Engdall begins work for CLGRO on field placement, helping with System’s Failure follow-up.

Nancy Nicol receives a $35,000 grant from the Ontario Arts Council for her work-in-progress,Twenty Five Years of Struggle, a video documentary of CLGRO’s history and LGB organizing in Ontario. All the film produced in making the video will be donated to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

Neil Brandt takes over from Doug Arcand as CLGRO’s website coordinator.

April

CLGRO launches a project, “Liberation in the 00s,” to find out where we have got to, where we want to go, and what makes CLGRO different from other groups.

To move along the follow-up on Project Affirmation, CLGRO holds a meeting of individuals and representatives from healthcare and social service agencies, which eventually forms a CLGRO reference group, the Rainbow Health Network.

May

Following a CLGRO newsletter article on setting priorities, the steering committee sets as priorities: gaining prejudice-free workplaces; youth issues (coming out issues, age-of-consent, sex-education, prejudice-free schools); relationships recognition; access to health and welfare services; policing and law issues.

A bequest is received by CLGRO from the estate of CLGRO member Bob Read, whose presence at Steering Committee meetings had brought us much pleasure..

Rick Telfer joins the CLGRO Steering Committee as a member-at-large.

CLGRO joins with the June 13 Committee and Maggie’s Toronto Prostitutes’ Community Services Project in opposing the police-manipulated process of electing an LGBT Police Liaison Committee.

June

CLGRO writes two letters to Ontario education minister Janet Ecker: the first asks that the minister support pride in a pro-active fashion to let homophobic employees know harassment of LGB staff is intolerable; the second – on the subject of tax credits for private schools – stresses the need for accountability and regulation of education, curriculum, employment conditions, and climate in private schools so that the risk of homophobia is reduced there.

Members of CLGRO participate in the Toronto Pride Parade, carrying posters showing many different Ontario towns and cities where CLGRO members live.

July

The Kitchener-Waterloo Record publishes a letter from CLGRO in response to a July column on gay-bashing in the local parks (which suggested that men who go to parks for sex attract violence). The victim-blaming was pointed out; the letter added that the Kitchener-Waterloo Record has the opportunity to make Ontario a better place for all of us to live.

August

CLGRO welcomes three new supporting member groups: Lakehead University Student Union, Laurentian University Students’ General Association, and the Student Association of George Brown College.

CLGRO joins LEAF, NAC, EGALE, and others in the intervenor coalition to fight Toronto printer Scott Brockie’s appeal of the OHRC tribunal’s February 2000 ruling that his firm Imaging Excellence should pay the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives $5,000 damages for his 1996 refusal – on Christian grounds – to print their letterhead.

Nancy Nicol receives a $50,000 “established artist grant” from the Canada Council for the Arts for the documentary on the history of the lesbian and gay rights movement in Ontario, focussing on CLGRO. CLGRO contributes $5,000, the Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal $1,000, and individual donors $1,645.

September

Nick Mulé and Tom Warner attend as CLGRO representatives and make presentations at a national gathering, “2001: A Health Odyssey: Building Healthy Communities,” held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This conference later forms the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition.

Statistics Canada includes for the first time in a Canadian census a question asking specifically if Canadians are in a cohabiting same-sex relationship; CLGRO keeps urging them to include in the next census the other question CLGRO has suggested, asking people to identify their sexual orientation; CLGRO acknowledges the question would not yield an exact answer but stresses it would provide minimum figures to work with .

Letter sent to Ontario Attorney General David Young about Bill 86, the Rescuing Children from Sexual Exploitation Act which gives the police wide powers to remove youth from public areas; CLGRO expresses concern about how lesbian, gay and bisexual youth will be treated under this act.

CLGRO members Tom Warner and Greg Pavelich assist with the formation of the broadly based Toronto Police Accountability Coalition.

CLGRO becomes a member of a coalition of groups looking at the Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

October

Steering Committee member Nick Mulé represents CLGRO at a public forum to discuss advocacy for non-profit groups and charities with regard to the federal government’s Voluntary Sector Initiative.

November

CLGRO writes a letter to federal Justice Minister Anne McLellan on the federal anti-terrorism legislation, Bill C-36. The letter highlights the possible impeding of democratic protest as well as the wretched history of the RCMP and other police forces in regarding LGBs as potential terrorists. If enforcement agencies are given extra-ordinary powers, they must receive a strong message from the government that lesbians, gays, and bisexuals are not a target approved by the federal government.

December

CLGRO formally responds to Bill 125, The Ontarians with Disabilities Act, providing a deputation by Nick Mulé to the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. CLGRO expresses concern at the lack of teeth in the Act and calls for recognition in the Act of those who are further marginalized with a sexual minority status.


Top of Page

 

2002

March

A meeting with representatives from Statistics Canada is attended by CLGRO members Greg Pavelich, Nick Mulé and Richard Hudler; the meeting discusses including questions about sexual orientation in the census and in surveys done by Statistics Canada; CLGRO again urges the inclusion of a sexual-orientation question.

April

CLGRO joins a coalition to support Marc Hall in applying for an injunction to allow him to take his same-sex partner to his Catholic high school prom; CLGRO provides support and information, writes to the Minister of Education, and presents Marc Hall with the John Damien Award for his “outstanding contribution.”

CLGRO welcomes the Carleton University Graduate Students’ Association, Ryerson Students’ Administrative Council (CFS local 24), and the Graduate Students’ Society (University of Windsor) as supporting group members.

May

World Premiere of Stand Together: A History of Ontario’s Gay Liberation Movement, Part I is held at the Inside/Out Festival in Toronto, followed by a party at the Brown Stone Bistro. The documentary video covers the time span from the RCMP investigations of gays in the late 1960s to 1987 pride celebrations of the inclusion of “sexual orientation” in the Ontario Human Rights Code, featuring prominently the work done by CLGRO. The John Damien Award is presented to Marc Hall.

CLGRO members take the CLGRO banner to a rally to support Marc Hall, who has succeeded in getting an injunction to allow him to attend the prom. The Catholic School Board appeals the decision. CLGRO will remain a member of the coalition to support Marc Hall.

A preliminary listing of CLGRO policies is made to form the basis of a policy manual.

CLGRO sends a written submission to the Romanow National Commission on Health, which is the only LGB submission we know of other than those from HIV/AIDS groups.

The Rainbow Health Network formally becomes a CLGRO Reference Group.

The plaque for the John Damien Award is now filled and is sent to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, where it will hang in the reading room. A smaller plaque will be kept at the CLGRO office for new names.

June

CLGRO carries the banner in the Pride Parade and has a table promoting the new book Never Going Back and the video Stand Together, along with information about CLGRO and the Rainbow Health Network.

Tom Warner’s book Never Going Back: A History of Queer Activism in Canada is launched at a party hosted by LGBT Out and Glad Day Books at the University of Toronto. Tom is a founding member of CLGRO.

July

CLGRO sends Census Canada representatives a recommended question about sexual orientation to be included in the 2006 census.

August

A backgrounder is prepared explaining CLGRO’s position on relationships recognition and same-sex marriage: marriage (straight or gay) should not be given special status or legal privileges; people should have the right to determine for themselves their primary personal relationships and have these relationships supported and recognized in law and by social institutions. A request is made to appear before the parliamentary committee consultations on same-sex marriage.

September

The Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario and CLGRO produce a sticker with a rainbow and the statement “we love and support our lesbian, gay, and bisexual friends” for distribution in schools and public areas.

October

Tom Warner and Marie Robertson have portraits included in the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives’ portrait gallery; induction ceremony at City Hall, Toronto.

CLGRO is represented by Tom Warner at a gay-marriage forum sponsored by Toronto gay newspaperXtra!

The formal launch of the Rainbow Health Network (RHN) takes place at the 519 Community Centre, Toronto.


Top of Page

 

2003

February

Support for defendants charged in the raid on Goliath’s Saunatel in Calgary is assisted by CLGRO, which goes on to consider the possibility of forming a committee of people interested in working toward the abolition of the bawdy house and similar laws.

CLGRO sends a letter to the Toronto District School Board to urge inclusion of sexual orientation in the equity policies of the board, pointing out that Toronto is the flagship schoolboard in the country.

March

CLGRO is represented by Greg Pavelich at a forum held by the Coalition for Inclusive Curriculum at York University about the school curriculum at elementary, highschool, and university levels, as well as in teacher training.

April

Voices: Keeping the Queer Movement on a Leash” is the title of a public forum hosted by CLGRO at the 519 Community Centre with a panel discussing the Voluntary Sector Initiative consultations regarding changes to laws on charitable status.

Toronto District School Board holds conference “Equity in Education: Laying the Foundations”; Greg Pavelich represents CLGRO as a member of the TDSB’s Community Equity Reference Group (CERG). CLGRO writes to the Director of Education to support CERG.

A presentation of CLGRO’s position on same-sex marriage is made to the Federal Consultation on Same-Sex Marriage by Nick Mulé and Richard Hudler.

The first meeting of the Bawdy House Laws Committee is organized and facilitated by CLGRO.

CLGRO welcomes new member groups: Canadore Students’ Representative Council, Canadore College, North Bay; Nipissing University Student Union (CFS local 20); Ryerson Students’ Administrative Council (CFS local 24) and RyePride, Ryerson University, Toronto

May

At Egale’s Rainbow Visions Conference, held at McGill University in Montreal, Nick Mulé presents on community development work on LGBTTIQ health and social service issues.

Louise Langlais joins the CLGRO Steering Committee as a member-at-large.

In preparation for the upcoming provincial election, CLGRO sends letters to the three major parties with questions about education, policing, and health and social services.

CLGRO endorses the document “A Fresh Step for Policing” put together by the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition, of which CLGRO is a member. The document calls for a permanent, independent agency to audit the police activities and for an independent civilian body to receive, investigate, and adjudicate complaints concerning police conduct and policy, including complaints made by third parties.

June

Clusters of swimming noodles made by Greg Pavelich are carried with the CLGRO banner in the Pride Parade to add colour to the contingent.

August

Members of the Political Action Committee of the Rainbow Health Network, a CLGRO Reference Group, meet with NDP MPPs Shelly Martel and Marilyn Churley to discuss how health and social-services issues affect the LGBTT communities.

September

Nick Mulé presents CLGRO’s position on same-sex marriage on CBC television program Counter Spin.

An Ontario election pamphlet including CLGRO’s questions to politicians, their replies, and our analysis is mailed to CLGRO members and distributed in the community.

Paul de Rege, active on CLGRO’s Steering Committee 1999-2001, passes away. Paul provided insights, ideas, and humour; he contributed greatly to CLGRO’s 25th Anniversary celebrations and the early stages of the video Stand Together.

October

Greg Pavelich, active in CLGRO since 1994, passes away. An indefatigable committee-goer, Greg was always ready to challenge heterosexism and homophobia. He was adept at speaking to the media, supporting protests, postering light poles, stuffing envelopes, and coordinating CLGRO’s efforts to address the bawdy-house laws. CLGRO hosts a memorial service for Greg at th 519 Church Street Community Centre.

Members of the Political Action Committee of the Rainbow Health Network, a CLGRO Reference Group, meet with Toronto City Councillor Kyle Rae to discuss how health and social services issues affect the LGBTT communities.

CLGRO representatives Tom Warner and Richard Hudler meet with the vice-chair and senior advisor of the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services, as part of the Commission’s consultations with community groups on the current police complaints system.

November

CLGRO co-signs a letter with the Senior Pride Network to the federal government’s Task Force On Seniors to emphasize the need for LGBT issues to be addressed in all areas of services for seniors.


Top of Page

 

2004

February

The Bawdy House Laws Committee is renamed Sex Laws Committee to broaden the scope and address other laws.

April

“Silent No More”: the Lesbians and Breast Cancer Project is completed and its report launched. Both CLGRO and the Rainbow Health Network were partner agencies of this project, conducted in Ontario in 2003.

The health fair “Queer Health Matters” is put on at the 519 Church Street Community Centre by the Rainbow Health Network and the Sherbourne Health Centre.

May

Brent Southin joins the CLGRO Steering Committee as a member-at-large.

The John Damien Award is given posthumously to Greg Pavelich.

A CLGRO/RHN project proposal is accepted by the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition; this will provide funding from Health Canada to develop partnership with provincial health and social-services professional associations, work toward developing standardized workshops to educate health and social-services workers about LGBTT issues, develop in Northern Ontario a model for networks similar to the Rainbow Health Network, and work toward expanding the federal social determinants of health.

Michael Arkin, a founding member of CLGRO, becomes CLGRO’s new representative on the Community Equity Reference Group at the Toronto District School Board.

June

CLGRO banner is carried in the Toronto 2004 Pride Parade.

July

Series of letters sent by CLGRO to Ottawa Police Services following an incident of homophobia in the police force, asking what actions will be taken to prevent future incidents

August

A special meeting of the Sex Laws Committee is called in response to a raid on the Warehouse, a bathhouse in Hamilton.

CLGRO members help with the launch of a new committee including bathhouse owners and health and political organizations to lobby the government to repeal bawdy-house laws and indecency laws and to raise money to support court challenges.

September

Louise Langlais, a CLGRO Steering Committee Member, accepts the position of CLGRO Director (Treasurer); following the resignation of Christine Donald as Director; Christine remains the Office Manager.

A new CLGRO leaflet “Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Liberation in the 2000s” is approved by the CLGRO Steering Committee.

CLGRO decides to apply for charitable status, believing that protecting human rights is a valid charitable activity, and commits to further researching this and developing a strategy for it.

November

Nick Mulé attends the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition (CRHC) conference in Gatineau, Quebec, where he represents CLGRO and makes a presentation on “Absence = Neglect: Sexual Minority Recognition in Policy.”

The partnership project between CLGRO, RHN, and CRHC, called Ontario Rainbow Health Partnership Project (ORHPP) hires on contract Dick Moore, Lisa Samules, and David Vervoort to commence work on the project.

December

Tom Warner and Richard Hudler represent CLGRO and the Sex Laws Committee at a consultation held by Egale Canada about legal strategies around fighting bawdy house and indecency laws.


Top of Page

 

2005

January

Bob Schisler, who was supported in his efforts by CLGRO, wins his legal case against the Toronto Police for a homophobic assault on him during an arrest for which he was acquitted. He is awarded over $450,000, apparently a precedent for a civil suit against the police.

Tom Warner of CLGRO presents a workshop on Queer Activism at the Ryerson University Conference Equity in Action.

In media interviews with The Globe and Mail and Xtra! Magazine, Tom Warner discusses CLGRO efforts around censorship issues, the education systems, response to the religious right, anti-homophobia programs, the sex laws and repealing parts of the Criminal Code, and Bill C-2, The Protection of Children and other Vulnerable Persons Act.

CLGRO is represented by Nick Mulé at a meeting of the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition (CRHC) in Vancouver.

February

Tom Warner speaks on behalf of CLGRO at a Toronto Police Services Board consultation about what to look for in a new police chief.

A submission is prepared by Nick Mulé on behalf of CLGRO and is sent to the Ontario Standing Committee on Social Policy for hearings on Bill 118 regarding standards relating to accessibility in the Act for persons with disabilities.

CLGRO provides material for the York University collective agreement supporting including sexual orientation in the equity policy.

Brent Southin takes over as representative to the Toronto District School Board Equity Programs Advisory Committee.

CLGRO is represented by Richard Hudler at the Community Discussion on Inclusive Community Schools.

March

An information table for CLGRO is staffed by Neil Brandt at the Cawthra Park Secondary School awareness day.

April

A new masthead for the CLGRO Newsletter, Outwords, appears in the April Newsletter in celebration of CLGRO’s 30th Anniversary.

Written submissions are made by both CLGRO and the Sex Laws Committee to the federal Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness on Bill C-2, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Protection of children and Other Vulnerable Person) and the Canada Evidence Act.

June

CLGRO is one of the sponsors of Toronto’s first commemoration of Canada’s National Day Against Homophobia on June 1st.

June 18th, A Community Forum on the issue of privatization of services, health, education and social services is funded by CUPE and celebrates CLGRO’s 30th Anniversary.

The CLGRO banner is carried in the Toronto Pride Parade.

August

Christine Donald, CLGRO Office Manager, is inducted in the National Portrait Collection of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

A brief prepared by Tom Warner and Christine Donald (now Hilary Clare) on behalf of CLGRO is sent to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Family Status Consultation regarding the newly legally recognized same-sex marriages.

September

CLGRO contributes to and participates in the Celebrate Bisexuality Day.

In recognition of the need for queer representation on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Blood Services, CLGRO member Tom Warner is appointed by the Ontario Minister of Health, George Smitherman, as the Ontario representative.

A meeting requested by the Rainbow Health Network, CLGRO, the Sherbourne Health Centre and the Senior Pride Network takes place with the Ontario Minister of Health to propose a province wide organization similar to the Rainbow Health Network with provincial funding. This proposal has evolved from the Ontario Rainbow Health Partnership Project (OHRPP).

At the invitation of the Toronto Women’s Bathouse Committee, CLGRO is represented by Tom Warner at a community consultation. Concerns are repeatedly expressed about police training.

November

Nick Mulé represented CLGRO at the third conference of the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition in Halifax, NS.


Top of Page

 

2006

January

Hilary Clare (previously Christine Donald) resigns as CLGRO Office Manager after 25 years of excellent and much appreciated service. The position was divided into two, one as Office Administrator which Richard Hudler agreed to assume and resigned as Chair, and the other as Political Action Coordinator for which we advertised.

Tom Warner is listed in Canadian Who’s Who and information about CLGRO is included in his bio.

March

Reports are released from the now completed Ontario Rainbow Health Partnership Project.

A queer history presentation is made to the 519 Community Centre volunteers by Tom Warner.

CLGRO sends a letter of support for a sequel to Nancy Nicol’s video Stand Together focusing on the relationship recognition campaign.

May

CLGRO is again a supporter of the Anti Homophobia Day now held on May 17th, the day sexual orientation was delisted from the World Health Organization (WHO) list of mental illnesses. The theme this year was Workplace.

A letter is sent by CLGRO to the provincial Attorney General indicating that there needs to be provision for funding of complaints and appeal in Bill 107, the new human rights legislation.

At the request of local residents, CLGRO sends a letter to the Mayor and City Council of the City of Barrie about complaints of homophobia.

June

Tom Warner represents CLGRO at a forum planned by Xtra! opposing legislation to increase the age of consent from 14 to 16.

The CLGRO banner was at the Dyke March and in the Pride Parade, marching with Amnesty International.

CLGRO signs on to a letter complaining about changes to the Ontario Human Rights legislation. Tom Warner speaks on behalf of CLGRO at a press conference.

July

Arti Mehta joins CLGRO as the new Political Action Coordinator.

CLGRO is represented at the Community Education and Access Demonstration Project (CEAPC) convened to discuss the proposed amendments to the Police Services Act.

An indication of support and representation at the ceremony were provided by CLGRO to the Persian Gay & Lesbian Organization (PGLO) which held a commemoration ceremony on the anniversary of the execution of two teen age youths in Iran for being gay.

September

CLGRO supports and attends the Bisexuality Day celebrations.

October

The Rainbow Health Network holds their inaugural Annual General Meeting, setting a more formal tone for the network.

Tom Warner is interviewed by Xtra! about the Defense of Religion package which is being put together by the Conservative Federal Government.

November

Arti Meta, Tom Warner, Nick Mulé and Richard Hudler presented CLGRO’s position at the hearings of the Standing Committee on Justice Policy regarding Bill 107, an Act to Amend the Ontario Human Rights Code. Many of the amendments we suggested were included in the final Bill.

A petition to Canadian Blood Services objecting to provisions excluding men who have sex with men from donating blood is supported by CLGRO.

The Rainbow Health Network and CLGRO host a meeting on Immigration and Refugee Issues.

A brief is submitted by CLGRO to all MPs outlining the unnecessary and potentially dangerous ramifications of Bill C-22 on the age of consent.

December

CLGRO is signature #2981 on a call for universal decriminalization of homosexuality by the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO).


 

 

2007

January

The first appeal of the Bob Schisler case (see January 2005) is dismissed. A letter is sent by CLGRO to the Toronto Police Services Board asking them not to further appeal the case.

February

Chris Bearchell, a founding member of CLGRO passes away in Vancouver. She was a strong supporter of CLGRO and major contributor to the activist movement, best remembered for her statement after the 1981 bath raids: “They think that when they pick on us that they’re picking on the weakest. Well, they made a mistake this time! We’re going to show them just how strong we are. They can’t get away with this shit anymore! No more shit!”

Arti Mehta resigns as political action coordinator having secured full-time employment. A decision is made to only hire a person to take on specific projects while political action efforts will be handled by the Steering Committee and the Administrator.

March

CLGRO hosts a Memorial Celebration of Chris Bearchell’s life and pioneering work.

A presentation is made to the Department of Public Health sexual health educators by Richard Hudler on behalf of the Age of Consent Committee and includes information about the efforts of CLGRO.

A letter of support is sent from CLGRO to Nicole Demers, the M.P. who introduced private members Bill 280 which would allow people to appeal immigration decisions with a copy sent to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

CLGRO supports the Age of Consent Committee (a youth led group) in making a presentation to the federal Justice Committee.

April

The Rainbow Health Network, Trans Health Lobby Group, requests and receives CLGRO’s support for their campaign to get the words “gender identity” included in the Ontario Human Rights Code as a ground for which discrimination is prohibited.

CLGLRO is represented by Nick Mulé at a meeting with the Sherbourne Health Centre and the Ministry of Health regarding a proposal for a province wide Ontario Rainbow Health Resource Centre which came out of the efforts of the Ontario Rainbow Health Partnership Project (ORHPP) in September 2005.

In an effort to make better use of resources, CLGRO closes its office at Eastminster Church on Danforth Avenue in Toronto, moves its files to a locker and enters an agreement with the 519 Church Street Community Centre to share space there.

Welcome MCC London as a new CLGRO member group.

May

The theme for the International Day Against Homophobia this year was Education and CLGRO was once again one of the sponsors.

CLGRO is represented by Richard Hudler at a media conference held at the offices of the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNTO) regarding a leaked report of unwarranted police surveillance on the former Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, Susan Eng, and gay activists Peter Maloney and George Hislop.

June

A meeting was held between the Ontario Ombudsman and the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition (TPAC) in which CLGRO was represented, about the police Special Investigations Unit which the Ombudsman is investigating.

At the Pride fundraising gala the Premier, Dalton McGinty made an announcement that the Ontario Government will be supporting the establishment of the Ontario Rainbow Health Resource Centre.

The CLGRO banner was again carried in the Pride Parade.

August

In preparation for the provincial election CLGRO prepares a campaign to oppose the Progressive Conservative Party proposal to provide tax funding for faith based schools; emphasize the need for more proactive initiatives to reduce homophobia in public schools; calls for gender reassignment surgery to be reinstated under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan; and calls for an amendment to the Ontario Human Rights Code to include gender identity as a prohibited ground of discrimination.

The Policy Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Family Status Report by the Ontario Human Rights Commission is released and mentions CLGRO which had made a submission.

September

CLGRO contributes to and supports the annual Bi Bash for bisexuals.

October

The Canadian Constitutional Society holds a conference about Freedom, Liberty & Jurisprudence at which Tom Warner of CLGRO is a panelist.

November

CLGRO is represented at the Human Rights Transformation Forum in London Ontario by David Smith. This forum is in preparation for implementation of the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006.

December

A response to the Statistics Canada 2011 call for consultations was sent by Nick Mulé. Once again CLGRO called for the inclusion of a question on sexual orientation as well as gender identity.

2008

February

The age of consent legislation died when the parliament was prorogued and a new Bill C-2, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and Make Consequential Amendments to Other Acts, has been introduced, again raising the age of consent from 14 to 16. CLGRO revised and resubmitted its brief to the Senate and was able to make a presentation to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in Ottawa but the Bill eventually passed the Senate 19 to 16.

March

Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on behalf of CLGRO regarding their Gender Identity Policy. CLGRO supported the strengthening of policy that better recognizes the needs and protects the rights of transsexual and transgender people within the work of the OHRC.

In response to the proposal for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, CLGRO called for the inclusion of the history and ongoing struggles of Canada’s LGBT populations in the museum as well its educational resources.

April

Welcome to the group Jer’s Vision in Ottawa as a new CLGRO group member.

May

CLGRO, along with the 519 Community Centre, the Sherbourne Health Centre, the Rainbow Health Network and Xtra Magazine sponsored a very successful panel discussion and meal in recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO). The theme this year was Health.

Interview provided for Kitchener News by Richard Hudler regarding the international Day Against Homophobia.

In recognition of IDAHO the Ontario Minister of Health, George Smitherman, announces that sex reassignment surgery will be re listed as a service for which the Ontario Health Insurance Plan will pay. This is after successful lobbying by the Trans Health Lobby Group of the Rainbow Health Network, a reference group of CLGRO.

June

Nick Dodds of the Age of Consent Committee won the LGBT Youth Line award for Outstanding Contribution to Youth Activism and Education which was presented at their gala on June 5th. Richard of CLGRO was the second nominator along with Rob Teixeira. They were particularly impressed with his work on the Age of Consent Issue. CLGRO was represented at the June 6thOntario Inclusion Learning Network Meeting.

A presentation was made by CLGRO to the Ministry of Education Safe Schools Consultation on June 9th

The Rainbow Health Network receives the 2008 Pride Gala Award in the category of ‘Science, Medicine and Technology.

August

New CLGRO Website announced.

November

Directors of CLGRO discuss the increasing difficulties in getting work done with so few actively involved members and decides to look at the suggestion that CLGRO should close down. A letter is to be sent with the December Newsletter for feed-back from the membership.

On November 28th the new Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) was launched. This provincially funded organization was proposed by the Rainbow Health Network, CLGRO and the Sherbourne Health Centre.

December

A letter was sent with the December Newsletter advising the membership that consideration is underway to close the Coalition and that the January Steering Committee Meeting will be devoted to discussing this topic.

 

2009

January

At the Steering Committee Meeting held on January 10th a decision was made to send a resolution to the membership to dissolve CLGRO at a Special General Meeting held with the Annual General Meeting in May. A proposal to create a new queer voice in Ontario was also reviewed and it was agreed to put this proposal on the website with a note to the Membership in the April Newsletter.

May

On May 2, 2009 a General Meeting was held in Toronto to approve the minutes of the last Annual General Meeting, elect the Directors and review the Financial Report. This was followed by a Special General Meeting at which the resolution to dissolve CLGRO and directing the directors to pay all debts and dispose of all the remaining property of CLGRO to one or more community or charitable organizations having as objects the rights, interests or welfare of the lesbian, gay or bisexual communities was unanimously carried.

October

CLGRO’s files are moved from a storage locker to the Canadian Lesbian and gay Archives at 34 Isabella Street in Toronto.

November

The major remaining financial assets of CLGRO are divided equally between the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Rainbow Health Network and Queer Ontario.

December

Representatives from CLGRO participate in a roundtable session for the planned Canadian Museum for Human Rights which will be located in Winnipeg.

2010

January

A party is held on January 30, 2010 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto shortly after CLGRO’s 35th anniversary to bid farewell to CLGRO and launch Queer Ontario.