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The Spousal Collection

PART ONE October 1989 - December 1999

selections from the newsclippings concerning spousal and family status for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals

Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario CLGRO, Box 822 Station A, Toronto M5W 1G3 (416) 405-8253 clgro@web.ca www.web.ca/clgro

see also
The Spousal Collection part two, January 2000-present
$10 plus $3 shipping, prepaid

SPOUSAL COLLECTION
selections from the newsclippings concerning spousal and family status for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals
Compiled by C M Donald for the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario

CLGRO, Box 822 Station A, Toronto M5W 1G3 (416) 405-8253

October 1989 - December 1999


references to Canada unless otherwise specified. Oct 1989 Nov 1989 Denmark passes a registered-partnership law which grants same-sex couples all marriage rights except the right to a church wedding and the right to adopt. Federal Court of Canada rules in favour of Veysey's Charter challenge against antigay discrimination in the spousal visiting programme of the Correctional Services of Canada. Corrections Canada appeals. Case launched in Vancouver by Canada Employment and Immigration (CEIC) employee Carol Neilsen for spousal dental coverage denied two years previously. Massachusetts becomes the second state in the US (after Wisconsin, 1982) to pass a gay rights bill outlawing discrimination in employment, housing, credit, and public accommodation (though senators forced an amendment allowing religious institutions to ban gay marriage and foster parenting). Five right-wing groups (including REALWomen, the Salvation Army, Focus on the Family, the Evangelical Fellowship, and the Pentecostal Assembly of Canada) obtains intervenor status in Mossop (spousal bereavement leave) appeal. A coalition including Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere (EGALE), the Womens Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL), the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC), the Canadian Rights and Liberties Federation, and the Canadian Disabilities Rights Council also obtains intervenor status. The Supreme Court of British Columbia (in Brown & Vancouver PWA Society v. BC Min of Health) rules that section 15 should be interpreted to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. The University of British Columbia announces that the full range of employee benefits is now available to same-sex spouses (this is largely due to the efforts of Professor Mary Bryson last year). This year for the first time, the US census will ask how many people live with an unmarried partner. Needless to say, the promotion makes no mention of lesbians or gay men.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Feb 1990 Australia tightens immigration laws and stops lesbian and gay lovers from being granted residence (as they had been since 1985); new regulations make HIV testing compulsory for long-term visas and ban those who test positive. CUPE publishes kit on the rights of same-sex couples. First international couple residing outside Denmark (Montreal gay man and Danish lover) are married under Danish law. Seattle city council votes to provide spousal health insurance and other benefits to lesbian and gay employees. The New Democrat government of the Yukon and the Public Service Alliance of Canada signed an agreement to redefine "spouse" in the collective agreement of the government employees' union to include lesbian and gay relationships. Bill Dwyer, a worker with Metro Toronto's community services department, lodges case with Ontario Human Rights Commission after his application to have employment benefits to his same-sex spouse, first requested in 1988, was denied. Federal Court rules in favour of Veysey's successful application for Private Family Visit Program, appealed by Corrections Canada. Dub rules that sexual orientation is an analogous ground to those in section 15 of the Charter. The court notes "it is the position of the Attorney General of Canada that sexual orientation is a ground covered by section 15 of the Charter." Toronto Hydro extends benefits to same-sex domestic partners. The Federal Court of Appeal overturns the (April 90) Human Rights Tribunal decision in favour of Mossop's request for bereavement leave when his lover's father died. (Another federal public servant, James Watson, had also been denied bereavement leave and dental benefits for his lover and had filed grievances.) Reform Judaism becomes the first major US religious body to adopt a national policy sanctioning homosexual behaviour: "all Jews are religiously equal regardless of their sexual orientation." While heterosexual marriage was declared to be "ideal," same-sex relationships are OK for those with no "conscious choice" but to be gay. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission acts independently to extend Human Rights Act protection to lesbians and gay men. The commission agreed that in all places where the act refers to "sex" as a prohibited grounds for discrimination, it will also mean "sexual orientation." Provincial attorney general Tom McInnis (who had tried to include sexual orientation but had been thwarted by backbench opposition) says "What they have done, government has accepted, and there's not going to be any reprimands." Norwegian parliament halts bill to pass lesbian/gay partnership law. Mossop announces appeal to supreme court.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Oct 1990 Toronto becomes the first city in Canada to extend its employee spousal benefits package to lesbians and gay men. (Toronto Hydro had taken this step in July; other companies with an equality policy include the Toronto Public Library, the YWCA, Ryerson Polytechnic, and The Globe and Mail (1988). Four cities in the States have similar policies.) Vancouver city council approves same-sex spousal benefits for lesbian and gay male couples employed by the city (which has 9000 employees). UK: For the first time, a local government, Newcastle City Council, has publicly urged that a lesbian couple be permitted to adopt a child. Home secretary David Waddington says he opposes permitting lesbians and gay men to adopt children. The final decision rests with the courts. Washington DC: Craig Dean and Patrick Gill file suit with the DC court of appeals against the District of Columbia which denies them a marriage license because they are gay. Pittsburgh radio station refuses to play request dedicated "from Michael to my lover Michael." DJ says he would have played the song if the fact that it was dedicated from one man to another wasn't mentioned. As of Jan 1 1991, Ontario extends same-sex spousal benefits (except for survivor pensions) to lesbian and gay male couples employed by the Ontario public service; the OPS covers 68,000 public servants. Ontario amends Employment Standards Act with respect to pregnancy and parental leave, expands definition of parent to include lesbian and gay parents: "a person who is in a relationship of some permanence with a parent of a child and who intends to treat the child as his or her own." Dec 1990 A retired Toronto schoolteacher is granted medical coverage for his same-sex spouse by the Superannuated Teachers of Ontario (a first for the STO). The STO's power does not extend to pension or survivor benefits, which are regulated by the Teachers' Pension Act. In an American Council on Education survey of 200,000 US college and university students, 44% support laws prohibiting homosexual relationships. The supreme court of Canada has agreed to hear the Mossop case on spousal bereavement leave. The case was won at the Canadian Human Rights Commission tribunal level April 1989, and lost in the FCA last June; this last challenge is being launched by the Canadian Human Rights Commission. EGALE and coalition again have intervenor status. Insight Canada Research polls 800 Ontarians on a range of NDP policies. On the decision to establish same-sex spousal benefits, overall 43% agreed (6% strongly, 37% just agreed), 50% disagreed (21% strongly, 29% just agreed) and 7% had no opinion. Other rates of agreement: among NDP core voters, 60%; of NDP 3

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection supporters altogether 50%; of Liberals, 43%; of Tories, 37%; of Catholics 43%, Protestants 40%, and those with no religious affiliation 54%; renters 58%, homeowners 36%; Metro residents 45%; students, 51%; young people (18-25), 57% No significant variation by gender or income. Feb 1991 Feb 1991 Feb 1991 U of T extends same-sex benefits to lesbian and gay couples - excluding pensions and starting Jan 1992. San Francisco: as of Feb 14, lesbian, gay and unmarried couples will be able to register their relationships at City Hall (new Domestic Partners ordinance). A New York lesbian Sandra Rovira files suit in federal court against AT&T for refusing her and her two sons the benefits from her deceased lover's pension plan, even though the pension has a nondiscrimination clause attached which specifically mentions "sexual preference." Judge Ignatius Lester rules that the 1977 statewide ruling debarring all homosexuals from adopting children is in violation of the privacy and equal protection rights of lesbians and gay men. The ruling applies only to Monroe County, Florida, but can be cited statewide as a precedent. The Washington Blade published a survey showing that 44.4% of college students (56% of men and 34.5% of women) are in favour of laws against gay relationships. Also, 66% believe in mandatory HIV testing. Ontario NDP passes pro-gay resolution at its convention, recognizing "the relationships and families of lesbians and gay men ... [as] equal and equivalent to the families and relationships of heterosexual couples," promising changes to the Ontario Human Rights Code, other laws, and relevant policies etc in accordance, and committing itself "to vigorously support and advance the principles of this resolution in areas of federal jurisdiction." Australia introduces new regulations which grant legal recognition to lesbian and gay relationships and give spousal status to immigrants; the law does not give equality with heterosexuals but includes lesbian and gay relationships under "relationships of emotional interdependency." New Zealand joins Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, in allowing lesbian/gay lover immigration, but the couple must prove the relationship is "genuine, stable, and of at least four years' duration." Under four years, the foreigner can obtain a work visa. The management committee of Metro Toronto votes to defer extending spousal benefits to same-sex couple employees. Mary-Woo Sims, Metro's top human rights officer (manager of the human rights and employment equity programme) files a complaint of discrimination with the Ontario Human Rights Commission against Metro government when Metro council's management committee refuses to extend spousal benefits to same-sex couples. She also files a complaint against

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection the province on the same grounds. Three or four other Metro employees have filed requests for same-sex spousal benefits in the past three years. June 1991 June 1991 A Toronto Star phone-in poll on same-sex spousal benefits finds an unusually high response rate: 59% of respondents in favour, 41% opposed. BC supreme court trial challenges an antigay policy of a BC government insurance carrier. Licensed practical nurse Timothy Knodel, backed by the Hospital Employees Union, took action against a medical services commission policy refusing spousal benefits to lesbians and gay men. (see sept 91) Toronto's Wellesley Hospital extends spousal benefits to lesbian/gay employees. New York court of appeals rules that nonbiological coparent in lesbian relationship cannot claim visiting rights after relationship ended. (The same court, two years ago, ruled that the definition of family should be extended to include lesbian/gay relationships.) Saskatchewan: Coalition for Human Equality still campaigning for protection for lesbians and gay men in provincial human rights legislation; the yearly Saskatchewan Youth Parliament passes resolution in favour of allowing lesbian/gay couples to adopt children. The California Court of Appeal rules that nonbiological, nonadoptive parents in same-sex relationships have no legal rights in future childrearing, custody, or visitation if the couple breaks up, on the grounds that acting as a parent on a dayto-day basis is not the equivalent of being a natural or adoptive parent. In England, the proposed clause 25 could make illegal most forms of gay sexual activity, eg making love with partner if there's anyone else in the house; it could also prevent lesbians from becoming fostermothers. London, UK: Trafalgar Square site of large demo of lesbians and gay men staging marriage ceremonies. The Nova Scotia legislature adopts a bill adding sexual orientation to the province's human rights act. The act also protects people with AIDS and no longer exempts nonreligious and nonethnic volunteer groups. It also contains broad prohibitions on the publication of discriminatory material. NY state supreme court judge Karla Moskowitz, rules that to adhere to a traditional view of "single" and "legally married" would reject family life in this day and age. Reviewing a public agency's health insurance benefits, she recognized the legal right of lesbians and gay men to sue for spousal benefits.

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August 1991 After deferring action three times, the management committee of Metropolitan Toronto votes to deny same-sex spousal benefits (a 4-4 tie means the motion to grant benefits fails). Argument against is based on the Ontario Human Rights Commission definition of spouse as "a person of the opposite sex."

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection August 1991 Since Denmark legalized same-sex marriage in Oct 1989, more than 700 lesbian/gay couples have been married. Of 428 marriages in 1990, 313 were between men, 115 between women. There have been 7 divorces. Most of those getting married were age 40-60, and more over 60 than under 39. August 1991 Swedens national board of health and welfare has rejected a gay mans application to adopt a child, because children need to understand that they cannot come into the world except through sexual relations between a man and a woman." August 1991 Timothy Knodel, a gay nurse who sued the Medical Services Commission when he was denied medical coverage for his ailing lover (see june 91), has won his case. Judge Anne Rowles ruled that the emotional bond was no different in homo- or hetero-sexual couples. Fall 1991 A gay couple in a jail awaiting trial in Antwerp had been banished to separate cellblocks and denied the right to see one another. Following complaints to, and then by, ILGA, conjugal visits are instated. Manitoba Human Rights Commission decides that lesbian and gay provincial government employees are not entitled to spousal benefits because they can't get married. Lotus (computer software) Development Corp offers gay spousal benefits to employees who sign a contract saying they have a long-term commitment. A coalition of 18 Qubec groups begins campaign for Qubec provincial government to give legal recognition to lesbian and gay couples. Needless to say, this is not part of amendments to the provincial civil code already proposed. Hearings have begun; changes are expected to be in place by 1993. Mr Justice Joseph McDonald, Ontario Court, general division, rules that the federal human rights act violates the Charter by not including sexual orientation among the prohibited grounds for discrimination. (The ruling was given in the case of Joshua Birch, who was "released" from the army on medical grounds because of his homosexuality.) Justice Minister Kim Campbell has six months to appeal the decision; she is anyway committed to introducing amendments to the act by the end of the year. The federal government decides to appeal the ruling of Mr Justice Joseph McDonald, Ontario Court, general division, that the federal human rights act violates the Charter by not including sexual orientation among the prohibited grounds for discrimination. (See sept 91, case of Joshua Birch.) A lesbian couple in Washington DC become the first openly gay couple in the USA to adopt each other's children.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Nov 1991 The University of Iowa's college of law makes history by hiring a lesbian couple to teach under the same roof. The dean commented that the women were treated as separate candidates, in the same way a heterosexual couple would be treated. Based on an understanding of the term spouse as a heterosexual term only, Justice Martin of the BC supreme court rules against John Nesbits claim for spousal old age benefits for his partner of 40 years. After an eight year battle, Karen Thompson is granted custody of her disabled lover Sharon Kowalski by the Minnesota court of appeals. Norway permits a British lesbian to live in the country with her lover on the grounds of her "family connection." This follows a two-year battle, in which the case was appealed all the way up to the minister of justice. Christian Nijssen cannot be buried next to his lover of 20 years, who died of AIDS. In Belgian law, only family members may be buried in the same plot, unless everybody who buys the plot agrees to the exception. His lover, Herman De Smet, had already died of AIDS before this was pointed out. Nijssen appealed without success to the mayor of Oostende (where the cemetery is located), to regional and provincial administrations, and to the King of Belgium. He plans to appeal next to the European Human Rights Tribunal. Australia: Toyota advertise in the 1992 gay Mardi Gras guide and take out a fullpage ad in OutRage featuring two men, their dogs, and a Toyota Seca, with the headline "the family car." Because of their "niche marketing," Toyota took the lead from Ford in new car sales in Australia recently. In January, Ford dealers sneered at Toyota for "stooping" to the gay market. Subsequently, much pressure is put on Toyota in the States by right-wing groups and fundies. BC lesbian Chris Morrissey, a Canadian who has been trying for three years to sponsor her Irish-born lover of 14 years, US citizen Bridget Coll for permanent residence in Canada, files a court case against the federal minister of employment and immigration. After two years of being lobbied by lesbian and gay activists, the Alberta Human Rights Commission recommends that "sexual orientation" be included in the province's Individual Rights & Protections Act. Labour minister Elaine McCoy immediately stated that the IRPA would not be reopened to add the words, as Albertans are "not ready." The federal court (trial division) denies Carol Nielsen's motion to compel the Canadian Human Rights Commission to consider her two-year-old complaint. The commission has put the case on hold pending a decision on Mossop and the FCTD has awarded costs against Ms Nielsen. Gay couples files complaint with Ontario Human Rights Commission against Ottawa Y which does not recognize gay couples for family memberships.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection March 1992 On March 2, the day they were due to be deported, Carrott and the children are granted a minister's permit to remain in Canada. But the federal department of immigration still refuses to process Canadian citizen Andrea Underwood's application to sponsor Anna Carrott, her lover of eight years, and her two children. The family lives outside the village of Teslin, in the Yukon. Yukon premier Tony Penikett wrote to immigration in favour of the application, as did NDP leader Audrey McLaughlin. A complaint was filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in February. Gay couple from China is granted refugee status in Australia because of China's persecution of homosexuals. Other countries which grant refugee status on parallel grounds include Austria, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and the US.) (In 1992, a British gay man was given permission to stay in the Netherlands and on the grounds that in England he would be subject to prosecution for his relationship with his 17-year-old lover.) US: Georgia supreme court rules a property agreement between a lesbian couple is legally enforceable (although homosex is still illegal for adults in Georgia and neither US nor Canadian courts can enforce contracts based on illegal acts). Lesbian and gay couples in Washington DC can now register their relationships with the city and municipal employees can place their lovers on the city health insurance policy. The Vancouver Sun agrees to publish notices of same-sex marriages - maybe the first major paper in Canada to do so A Detroit man ends his long antagonism to the lesbian couple next door by shooting the women to death on their driveway. Manitoba HRC appeals Queen's Bench court decision which ruled that civil servant Chris Vogel and his spouse Rick North (married in the Unitarian church in 1974) were not a common-law couple in law and thus denied them spousal benefits. A US superior court judge rules that lesbians and gay men are not entitled to legal protection because their behaviour is morally wrong; this was a gay marriage case. The Supreme Court of Canada hears final submissions in Mossop, the first gay rights case to reach the supreme court since the Charter was implemented in 1982. New Brunswick includes "sexual orientation" in its human rights act in a bill which passed third reading by a 34-8 majority. BC legislature passes amendment to include "sexual orientation" in the provincial human rights act, though lesbians and gay men are not named among the groups for whom equity programmes are permitted. The amendment also prohibits discrimination on the basis of family status. 8

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection June 1992 The Metro Toronto Y now has same-sex spousal benefits for employees but still wont give family memberships to lesbian/gay couples and families. (The Y is Des Moines, Iowa, does offer family members, saying "the key word is household.") Bernard Dussault, acting chief actuary for the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions in Ottawa says that, if LGBs were 10% of the population and all were in relationships and claimed benefits, giving them survivor benefit payouts would add 1.5% to the overall cost of the Canada Pension Plan, that is 0.0008 percent of the salary of each contributor. Metro Toronto Council votes 18-15 in favour of same-sex spousal benefits for Metro employees. Five Metro employees had filed complaints with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Bell Canada rejects the request of lesbian and gay employees to provide benefits to same-sex spouses. The Illinois supreme court refuses to review a Chicago lesbians custody case; she was refused custody of her five-year-old daughter because she is not married to her lover, although Illinois would not accept such a marriage as legal anyway. The US supreme court refuses to allow a lesbian mother to appeal a negative custody decision; she was denied custody because she is a "practising" lesbian. South Dakota state supreme court refuses overnight visits for a lesbians two sons; ex-husband argued that their psychological development would be harmed by their mother's lifestyle. Ottawa lawyer Philip MacAdam files suits for Maureen to get legal custody of her lover Cathy's child. The court order goes through in a month. The Childrens Law Reform Act governs custody orders and allows any "interested party" to sue for joint custody, decisions being based on the best interests of the child. The legislation doesnt specifically prohibit LG parents from joint custody provisions, says MacAdam. Technically, the nonbiological parent sues their partner and both people consent; no court appearances; $300. Snag: the other biological parent, if alive, will be notified and may contest. In the case of a breakup, joint custody remains and one mother may sue the other for support. Some lawyers believe that cohabitation agreements, health care directives and will are legal coverage enough. A Swaziland judge rules that a marriage between two lesbians is valid; the woman who pays the bride-price can delegate a man to father children on her behalf Todd Layland is forced to return to the States. He and Pierre Beaulne applied for a marriage license (Jan), were rejected, and filed a Charter challenge in the Ontario Divisional Court against the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations. No word from the Ontario government but the federal government will intervene to oppose. Layland's request for renewal of a work 9

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection visa was denied and a visitor's permit would not allow him to earn money. The immigration minister has denied a special permit. August 1992 Ottawa-Carleton's regional government extends spousal coverage to employees in same-sex couples; estimated cost increase to premiums 0.5-1.5% August 1992 Texas jury trial awards custody of her 2 year old son to a lesbian mother; an informal opinion poll on current issues was used to screen potential jurors for homophobia. August 1992 Michael Leshner wins four-year battle with the Ontario government for full samesex spousal coverage. The Ontario Human Rights Commission ruling includes same-sex relationships under "conjugal relationships" by ordering the words "of the opposite sex" removed from its definition. This ruling now applies to all Ontario employers who provide spousal benefits at all. The provincial government must extend its plan to include survivor benefits, which it claimed was impossible because of the federal Income Tax Act. Ontario Attorney General Howard Hampton announces that the government will support CUPE's suit (Rosenberg et al. v Attorney General Canada) to get the ITA changed. The Attorney General's department immediately interprets the decisions as applying only to the public sector. In September, Leshner wins the disciplinary proceeding launched against him by the Ontario government for laying the complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. August 1992 Tory MPs including justice minister Kim Campbell defeat an amendment to federal legislation on public service pension plans that would have prohibited antigay discrimination. Bill C-55, introduced by the government, explicitly excluded same-sex couples in the public service, Can. Forces, and RCMP from survivor benefits. Svend Robinson introduced an amendment to remove the opposite sex requirement. It sank, 112-62 August 1992 A panel of three judges in the Ontario Court of Appeal unanimously upholds the ruling in Haig and Birch (see Birch, sept 91) that the Canadian Human Rights Act violates the Charter by not including sexual orientation among the prohibited grounds for discrimination and that the Canadian Human Rights Commission must now administer the act as though it did contain the words "sexual orientation." Although this decision is legally binding only in Ontario, the Canadian Human Rights Commission will apply it across the country. August 1992 German activists hope to launch many test cases after more than 250 lesbian/gay couples in 50 German cities go to their local town halls seeking official marriages. Marriages are legal in Denmark; in the Netherlands, lesbian/gay couples have the option of a legally binding "cohabitation contract." The only remaining German

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection criminal penalty against homosexuality ban men over 18 from having sex with men/boys under 18. Fall 1992 Lesbian in Fort Lauderdale files suit to challenge the Florida statute against lesbians and gay men adopting. This is the third challenge; one was won in Key West but failed to set a precedent; one in Sarasota is still pending. New Hampshire is the only other state with a law specifically excluding lesbians and gay men from adopting. In a survey of 1,000 French citizens, 72% supported "civil-union contracts for unmarried gay and straight couples. Paper presented at APA conference by Charlotte Patterson, associate professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, outlines results of a year's survey of lesbian baby boom children in the Bay Area. Children were compared with a 1990 survey of heterosexual couples' children and were found to be average and not different in competence from the children of heterosexuals in a 1983 study. Two lesbians in Britain win a court order for permanent custody of a baby they have cared for since birth. The mother, a neighbour, had agreed the baby could be brought up by the couple but social workers challenged the arrangement. (This is 18 months after the government tried to outlaw fostering by lesbians and gay men.) GLEC, Gay and Lesbian Employee Coalition begun on Toronto by employees of Bell, IBM, Royal Bank, North American Life Assurance, and Oracle Corp. Newsweek (US) survey shows that 51% think lesbian and gay rights pose no threat to the traditional family and its values and 53% believe that being lesbian/gay is an acceptable lifestyle; 78% think lesbians and gay men should be protected from discrimination in the workplace; 70% approve of inheritance rights, 67% approve health insurance, and 58% approve social security for same-sex partners. Approximately one third support the right of lesbians and gay men to marry and adopt children. Operations clerk Shane St George lodges case with Canadian Human Rights Commission against the Royal Bank for refusing spousal benefits (a two-year fight). The complaint wont be processed until Oct when the deadline for appealing Haig/Birch has passed. Ontario Human Rights Commission procedural hearings begin in the case of Jan Waterman who alleges that her employer, North American Life Assurance Co of Canada, discriminated against her on the grounds of sexual orientation. Since the complaint was lodged, a 1/g employee group has started; NALIC says they will offer same-sex spousal benefits to employees as of April 93. IBM management breaks off negotiations with Pink Stripes, a g/l employees group, about same-sex spousal benefits because an employee has filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. 11

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Oct 1992 The Wyatt Company in Toronto states "actuaries are projecting little or no impact on benefit costs" and find that if the Income Tax Act were changed to include same-sex spouses there would be no significant increase in costs for company pension plans. Since Denmark legalized same-sex marriage in Oct 1989 (still the only country to have done so), more than 1,301 lesbian/gay couples have been married, of which 809 were between men, 492 between women. There have been 17 divorces. (See aug 91) After a 17-year struggle, the YMCA of Metro Toronto grants family membership discounts to lesbian and gay couples. The decision follows the change in Ontario Human Rights Commission definition of "family status" made by the Leshner case and the case filed with the Ontario Human Rights Commission against them by Shane St George proceeding to the board of inquiry. The catholic church unveils a new catechism, the first in 426 years, in which homosexual acts are described as "intrinsically dissolute, contrary to natural law" and lesbians and gay men urged to practice chastity, but since most lesbians and gay men don't willingly choose their lifestyle, they "must be welcomed with respect, compassion, and delicacy" and "one must avoid all unjust discrimination against them." Although Bridget Coll (see jan 92) is granted permanent resident status as an independent, Christine Morrissey still plans to proceed with her case against Immigration. The justice department is threatening to move for dismissal and ask for costs, which could cost Morrissey as much as $3,000. Morrissey has asked Kim Campbell for a consent order, the same legal procedure used by Michelle Douglas. The case of Carrott and Underwood (above, March) is not similarly resolved. Federal government decides not to appeal ruling in Birch, although there are still no signs that they plan to add "sexual orientation" to the Canadian Human Rights Act. Sacramento City Council passes an ordinance allowing lesbian/gay couples to register as domestic partners. A BC workers' compensation board ruling accepts a same-sex spouse as eligible for survivor's pension. Shirley Patten is awarded $1,363 a month (her lover of 20 years, Beverly Holmwood, a nurse, died last December of hepatitis C as a result of an accidental needle prick.) A Cologne court rules against granting a marriage license to Cornelia Scheel (daughter of former BRD president) and her lover, TV talkshow host Hella von Sinnen. The couple plan to appeal and also file a separate lawsuit in the Federal Constitutional Court.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Dec 1992 Ontario Human Rights Commission issues a statement recommending same-sex spousal benefits and reinforcing the Leshner decision. CLGRO delivers to provincial government 7000 postcards demanding same-sex spousal status Following an Ontario Human Rights Commission complaint launched by registered nurse Beth Clinton, York County Hospital gives same-sex spousal benefits Canadian senator Noel Kinsella introduces Bill S-15 to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation. Kinsella manages to get through a whole speech on the subject without saying the words "lesbian" or "gay." Kim Campbell then introduces Bill C-108 to add "sexual orientation" to CHRA and (announcing in a press conference that the Leshner decision was "wrong") also to add an exclusively heterosexual definition of "marital status." Beaulne and Layland marriage case in Ontario divisional court. Federal government advances the surprising argument that lesbians and gay men are not covered by section 15 of the Charter, and that even if they were section of the Constitution says it's ok, also that lesbians and gay men can marry people of the opposite sex, so there is no discrimination. Norway considers a law (similar to Denmarks 1989 legislation) allowing lesbian and gay couples to mark their relationships with a contract similar to the one that legalizes marriage by registering their relationships with a notary public. Couples would then have the rights and obligations of a married couple except for adoption and marriage in the (state) Lutheran church (viz. same restrictions as Denmark). BC supreme court judge awards Michael Forrest some $36,000 in a gay commonlaw property settlement case following the breakup of a 13 year relationship. Justice Boyd recognized the relationship as a marital one tantamount in all respects to a heterosexual marriage. Seattle, Washington: tiger scout troop expels boy because he has two mothers. Tuanna Johnson says they knew that when they enrolled her son. After they attended three monthly meetings, the meeting location was changed and they were not informed. Asheville, North Carolina, judge recognizes the parental rights of a sperm donor over the objections of a lesbian mother and in spite of a written agreement allowing the man visitation but not parental rights. The donor began to assert himself on his mother's urging. The decision also set aside a 1971 NC law barring sperm donors from seeking custody rights. UK parliamentary committee votes that local authorities should continue to allow lesbians and gay men to be evicted from public housing on the death of a partner. This is overturned by May.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Jan 1993 Newly appointed Alberta minister of community development Dianne Mirosh says that "gays already have too many rights." Late 92, the Alberta Human Rights Commission began to take complaints based on sexual orientation despite exclusion from the provincial code. The Newfoundland human rights commission will take complaints on the basis of sexual orientation, although the provincial government has not yet amended its human rights legislation to include this category. Commissions in Alberta and Saskatchewan have already made similar moves. By a narrow margin of 4-3, the supreme court of Canada decides, in Mossop (about an 1985 instance of discrimination), that same-sex relationships are not covered by "family status" in the Canadian Human Rights Act. The judges indicated that the decision was strictly statutory and might not have been the same if Charter arguments had been introduced. EGALE director John Fisher says, "Three judges said we are family and four said they'll decide later." The Canadian Human Rights Commission is currently reviewing 28 couple complaints to see which ones will fare best in the courts. Hewitt Associates state that the average cost increase of including same-sex spouses in medical and dental claims would be " a little less than 1%, based on a workforce of 2000 people, 5% of whom are gay and 2.5% of whom are in samesex relationships. They agree with the Wyatt Company that changes in the Income Tax Act would produce no significant increase in costs for company pension plans (possibly 0.5-1%). Pierre Beaulne (see july 92) and Todd Layland's Charter challenge against the state's refusal to marry them is rejected 2-1 in the Ontario divisional court. Justice James Southey: "The law does not prohibit marriage by homosexuals, provided it takes place between persons of the opposite sex. Some homosexuals do marry." Two judges say there is not Charter basis for a challenge; one says that there is and furthermore that there is no common-law obstacle to same-sex marriage. Beaulne plans to appeal. New Brunswick gives same-sex spousal benefits to civil servants, equal to those for common-law marriages. The relationship must be over a year old. The benefits do not include pensions or longterm disability. Jan Waterman wins case called by Ontario Human Rights Commission "first of its kind" after complaining that she was fired because of her sexual orientation (see sept 92). She was hired temporarily but an offer of permanent employment was withdrawn after the co. found out about her relationship with a fellow employee. Company Vice President says she was fired because she was confrontational. North American Life Assurance Co of Canada ordered to pay $23,390 compensation. Norway passes legislation extending broad legal rights to lesbian and gay couples (see dec 92). 14

Feb 1993

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection April 1993 Minnesota Senate gives final approval to adding lesbians, gay men, and transsexuals to the state's human rights act, effective August 1. Minneapolis City Council establishes same-sex spousal benefits for city employees. Ontario's attorney general intervenes in a lesbian "alimony" case, MvH, to argue that its own family law act is discriminatory (though they have not made any moves to change the law ... ). The case concerns the division of $1.4 million assets accumulated over a seven-year relationship. One woman is seeking support payments of $10,000 a month. (see decision feb 96). Egan and Nesbit case lost in federal court of appeal which (2-1) upholds a British Columbia court ruling that denies old-age benefits to 66 year old John Nesbit, James Egans partner of 45 years, under Canada's old age security act. The judges rules that this is not a sexual orientation issue, since many kinds of relationships are discriminated against in the Act. Egan (71) plans to appeal to the supreme court. New York judge Edward Kaufmann rules that a sperm donor has no right to be declared the legal father of a child he sired for a lesbian couple, Sandra Russo and Robin Young. See opposite decision, 92/3 North Carolina. National Adoption Study published by the Adoption Council of Canada recommends that single and unmarried adults, both heterosexual and homosexual, be considered eligible to be adoptive parents. Todd Armstrong, an Ottawa gay man who is open about his relationship, successfully goes through the Children's Aid Society procedures and legally adopts five-year-old Audla Geetah. Armstrong and his lover Andr Cyr had been friends with Audla's mother, an Inuit AIDS activist. In Baehr et al. v Lewin, the supreme court of Hawaii rules that the denial of marriage licences to same-sex couples is sex discrimination and that such marriages will now be considered legal unless the state of Hawaii can demonstrate a compelling state interest against. Alex Munter, a city councillor in Ottawa suburb Kanata comes out publicly to lobby the Ontario government for spousal recognition. Senator Kinsella's bill S-15 (see dec 92) to add "sexual orientation" to the Canadian Human Rights Act passes third reading in the Senate June 3 and June 15 passes first reading in the House of Commons where it is sponsored by PC MP David MacDonald (Rosedale). However, the bill will die unless the PM recalls the house later this year and she says she is still committed to C-108, her version. Ontario Liberal MPP Tim Murphy's private-member's bill to change the definition of marital status in the Ontario Human Rights Commission to include same-sex spouses and add sexual orientation as a ground in the harassment clauses is introduced June 8 and passes second reading. Politicians in the regional municipality of Niagara pass a resolution opposing (Aug) because the bill has "the 15

April 1993

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection potential of criminalizing the behaviour of ordinary citizens who are applying the standards of prudence and moral judgement." June 1993 June 1993 Warner Bros. now offer same-sex spousal benefits to employees. Victoria BC lesbian nursing assistant Vivian Smith is given five days' marriage leave by the Glengarry Hospital, as provided in the Hospital Employees' Union collective agreement, to marry her lover of three years. A Los Angeles court gives joint custody of a five-year-old girl to Kevin Thomas and the child's mother, who were raising the child together on a friendship basis until last year. The child's biological father filed for paternity rights but failed to show in court so case dismissed. (See also april 96) Open lesbian couple in Adelaide, Australia, adopts two-year-old, though one is named as legal parent. Ontario Court of Appeals allows Beaulne and Layland to pursue their fight for same-sex marriage although they broke up four months ago. (See july & dec 92, mar 93) Saskatchewan adds sexual orientation (along with family status and receipt of public assistance) to its human rights legislation. The anti-NDP Coalition in Support of the Family tries to collect 100,000 signatures on a petition to force a referendum, but the AG Bob Mitchell says he would ignore one anyway. One amendment was added to the bill stating that protection did not cover activity deemed illegal by the Criminal Code. Another to exclude lesbians and gay men from affirmative action programmes failed (the Sask. legislation is unique in Canada in mandating its HRC to foster affirmative action programmes). Juan Tomas denounces his employer Iberian Airlines for discriminating against his partner in denying him the discounts and free tickets awarded to heterosexually coupled employees; this with the EC resolution stirs up gay groups in Spain. French government extends same-sex spousal benefits to non-workers and jobless adults living with their parents. A person who has worked within the last three years can claim one dependent.

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(?July) 1993 New York's rainbow curriculum initiative, which proposed to include lesbian and gay families in the progressive multicultural curriculum, is defeated by rightwingers arguing that the inclusion of lesbian and gay families is demeaning to people of colour. The board chancellor, Joseph Fernandez, champions the curriculum and loses his job. July 1993 Ontario Human Rights Commission tribunal finds for registered nurse Beth Clinton, York County Hospital, who was given same-sex spousal benefits only after she launched a complaint Dec 92; the insurance carrier, Ontario Blue Cross, plans to appeal to Ontario Divisional Court on the grounds that spouse in the 16

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Ontario Human Rights Commission is explicitly heterosexual and that this ruling removes the employer's choice as to whether to provide same-sex spousal benefits or not. July 1993 Two lesbians (Sandra Benson and Tracy Potter) in BC file a complaint with the BC Council on Human Rights against a Vancouver doctor (Korn) who refused them AI because of their sexual orientation, because he was once called as a witness in a court case involving two lesbians.

August 1993 First lesbian marriage registered under new legislation in Norway (see dec 92, apr 93): Kim Friele (grand old lady of the LG movement) and Wenche Lowzow (1st out MP) at Oslo city hall. August 1993 Josh Gavel and Brian Ritchie are considered a couple under the BC human rights act and therefore Gavel (on UI, due to run out in Jan 94) is denied social service benefits covering his antiHIV drugs. Ritchie cannot claim any income tax deduction for his support of Gavel (probably be $12-14,000 a year) because that's federal. Ritchie asks his MLA for help, and he says, well it's a federal problem ... Fall 1993 Alison's Magic Kettle, a 30-second segment showcasing lesbian and gay families, is pulled from Sesame Street. It had run 3 times, but was pulled in the fall of 93. Cathy Chilco, the show's Vancouver producer, recalls one irate caller yelling "You are teaching our children tolerance!" CBC Toronto got more than 80 complaints and no letters in support. A Virginia court judge Parsons takes a two-year-old boy away from his mother, Sharon Bottoms, who testified that she and her lover sometimes kissed and petted in front of her son, because her sexual "conduct is illegal and immoral and renders her an unfit parent." Custody goes to the grandmother. Ontario Law Reform Commission comes out in favour of governmental recognition of same-sex spouses and supports registered domestic partnerships for straights and gay to give unmarried couples the rights and obligations of married couples. Report released Nov 93. Pope issues Veritatis Splendor which says that homosexuality and all sexual acts outside marriage are mortally sinful and "intrinsically evil." Canadian Auto Workers' new and trend-setting contract with Chrysler omits same-sex spousal benefits. CAW was in favour, but Chrysler refused. CUPE negotiates same-sex benefits package but is blocked by Revenue Canada who say same-sex pensions cannot be registered at all and same-sex medical benefits cannot be tax-free. RC says that if employers pay same-sex medical benefits, their entire plans will lose their tax-exempt status. CUPE files a Charter case (Rosenberg/CUPE) in the Ontario Court General Division. After examining the public service collective agreement, the Canadian Human Rights Act and the meaning of "spouse," "common-law spouse," etc., Public 17

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Service Staff Relations Board adjudicator Marguerite-Marie Galipeau rules that David Lorenzen, employed by Environment Canada in Vancouver, should have been granted family-related sick leave to look after his partner, Stephen Pauls, who had broken his leg, and bereavement leave to attend Pauls' father's funeral three weeks later. The board governs relations between the federal government and civil servants; the government has until October 25 to appeal. Galipeau noted that a gay man choosing a spouse of the same sex cannot be separated from his sexual orientation. The Public Service Alliance (PSAC which represents 170,000 including federal government employees and Canada Post) welcomes the decision, which however does not affect the Income Tax Act. Sept 1993 Jim Rawson files claim with the pension office of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto to Ontario Human Rights Commission for survivor pension benefits after the death in July of his seven-years lover, the Rev James McCue (39) of St Richard of Chichester Church in Etobicoke. The church does provide benefits to common-law heterosexual couples and the Bishop had acknowledged Rawson in his funeral eulogy. Ian Kirkland and the Toronto Board of Ed come to a settlement over spousal benefits (settled in August, announced in Oct). Kirkland had taken the case to the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Rosemary Brown says the settlement is "tangible evidence that employers are paying attention to the recent definition of spouse that has been in effect since the Leshner decision last year." The Board of Ed does not agree that it contravened the Code but will now provide same-sexspousal dental benefits. Kirkland gets $2,000 in dental costs and $3,000 compensation. An Oklahoma appeals court refuses to let a lesbian, Donna Fox, keep her two children because they might "encounter future prejudice by a disapproving society." The children go to hubby (divorced in 1988). Photographs of two young lesbians in Delhi who had decided to marry each other were leaked (by the photographer who processed them) to the local newspaper who put them on the front cover (one woman dressed as a bride, the other as a groom). Journalists laid siege to their families. One woman was incarcerated in her family's house; the fate of the other is not known. They were later both reported missing. Netherlands minister of justice issues press release saying council of ministers has approved first draft of a bill to enable cohabiters who cannot marry (close relatives, same-sex couples) to register their relationships with municipal authorities. This is not expected to become law before the end of 1995. Two male flamingos in Rotterdam zoo who have been in a loving relationship for years are raising a chick hatched from a fertilized egg given them by zoo keepers who felt sorry for them after their repeated attempts to steal the eggs from female flamingos. 18

Oct 1993

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Oct 1993 A positive Sept 93 ruling by Public Service Staff Relations Board adjudicator Marguerite-Marie Galipeau in the case of David Lorenzen, employed by Environment Canada in Vancouver (bereavement leave, family sick leave), is appealed by the outgoing conservative justice minister Pierre Blais; incoming liberal justice minister Allan Rock, lets the appeal stand. Robert Riley, a gay man, lays a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission that the welfare system discriminates against heterosexuals. A social services spokesperson said that they operate under the Family Law Act, which defines couples as members of opposite sexes. Supreme court agrees to hear appeal in Egan and Nesbit. Egan is now 72, Nesbit 66, they have lived together since 1948. The Old Age Security Act gives an allowance to the spouse of a pensioner aged 60-65 when their combined income fall below a set amount. Dr Hedy Fry, who was elected over Kim Campbell as an MP last month, is reprimanded by the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons for writing a prescription in one woman's name while knowing that it would likely be used by her lover. The woman has health benefits; her & lover does not. United Church of Canada calls for changes in the ITA to recognize same-sex spouses (the church had granted same-sex spousal benefits to employees in 1992). Canadian Human Rights Commission refuses to take Carol Neilsen's case (spousal dental benefits) to tribunal because it happened before August 1992, that is, before the decision in Haig & Birch. Similar decision in harassment case proposed by Nelson Boz. Bell Sygma, a provincially regulated Bell subsidiary, refuses to provide same sex spousal benefits. Lisa Jeffs and Michelle Owen lived together in London. Michelle got a job and moved to Toronto. They commuted for a summer, but found it didnt work. Lisa quit her parttime jobs and moved to Toronto. In October, UI said she had no reason for quitting her job, so no UI. Lisa took it to the UI appeals board and the board of referees, in a gender-neutral ruling, find that the two "lived together in a committed relationship" and that Lisa "moved to a new location in order to look for work and to reside with her spouse." The UI Commission appeals to a federal court: The commission submits that the Board of Referees failed to observe a principle of natural justice or otherwise acted beyond or refused to exercise its jurisdiction and erred in law and in fact in ruling as it did." Jeffs' lawyers says there is no definition of spouse in the federal UI act. Having heard that the CBC does not provide same-sex spousal benefits to employees, Bob Johnston of the CBC maintenance department, puts up pink posters advertising a new lesbian/gay employees' group. All are ripped down

Nov 1993

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Nov 1993 Finland grants asylum to a Russian gay man Konstantin Gontjarov (deportation order overturned by the High Court of Appeal) citing persecution in Russia and Gontjarov's "marriage-like condition" to another man. Qubec survey carried out by SOM and published in La Presse shows 73% in favour of equal government and private sector benefits for same-sex couples. New justice minister Allan Rock promises to add sexual orientation to the Canadian Human Rights Act and to look at same-sex spousal issues. Dec 22 statement to reporters: Rock: "If you're going to say, on the one hand, in your statute - as we want to do - you can't discriminate on that basis, then I think it follows logically that you have to look at all programs that do." Tim Murphy's Ontario private-member's bill (bill 45; see june 93) frozen by government. No sign of promised omnibus bill from Ontario's attorney general. Murphy, chair of newly created provincial Liberal taskforce on hate crimes, says crimes based on sexual orientation will be included. Ontario's NDP government passes its employment equity bill with no mention of lesbians and gay men. Apple Computer, about to move an $80m office complex to Williamson County, Texas, just north of Austin, runs into trouble with local fundies who denounce them for providing same-sex spousal benefits. County commissioners reject 3-2 a plan providing Apple with a $750,000 tax-break incentive for moving there; a poll of locals found 50% lined up against the commissioner, but 37% in favour; Apple refused to change its benefits plan; commissioners wriggled and 3-2 came up with a compromise reimbursement scheme for Apple. Qubec government refuses to allow Stefan Routhier to sponsor his lover Didier Godinez as an immigrant to Canada; they've been lovers since they met in Costa Rica in Feb 92; the federal government allowed the sponsorship earlier this year but Qubec's immigration ministry is fighting the application. Social and Community Planning Research poll finds 25% of the Irish in favour of recognizing lesbian and gay marriages, GB and Germany 13%; USA 11% Dow Chemicals offers same-sex spousal benefits to employees. LGB rights don't make it into the Liberal government's 17-minute throne speech, but the Jan 17 list of the new government's priorities does include (nonspecific) changes to the Canadian Human Rights Act. Prime Minister's office meets with EGALE but makes no promises. During his first address to the house of commons as justice minister, Allan Rock renews his promise to include sexual orientation in the Canadian Human Rights Act. "We shall introduce amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act. These amendments, among other things, will include sexual orientation as a ground upon which discrimination is prohibited. The House has been committed to that principle for many years, and successive governments have expressed the

Nov 1993 Dec 1993

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Late 1993 Late 1993 Jan 1994

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection intention to introduce the amendment. This government shall do so, not just to fulfil a commitment but as a matter of fundamental justice." (see dec 93) Jan 1994 EGALE, CLGRO named official partner organizations of the Canada Committee for the International Year of the Family as are the Canadian Bible Society and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (who have a write-in campaign against samesex spousal benefits in Ontario). European parliament, a democratically elected body representing some 350 million citizens of the European Union, resolves (159-96) at Strasbourg that homosexual couples be allowed to marry and adopt children. The resolution was drawn up by German Green deputy Claudia Roth and is not binding on the 12 European union states). It also calls for a common age of consent, an end to the prosecution of homosexuality as a public nuisance or gross indecency and to discrimination in criminal, civil, contract and commercial law. The Vatican fulminates "no man can take the place of a natural mother," homosexuality is an "aberrant deviation," and children adopted by homosexual will bear the scars of suffering and frustration. "Encouraging homosexuals tendencies means overturning the natural order set by God at the moment of creation." (Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, editorial written by Father Gino Concetti, a moral theologian whose views are close to those of Pope John Paul). In Feb the Pope adds a personal comment to the effect that the resolution will legitimize "moral disorder," that same-sex couples cannot build real families, that the children would suffer through not having a father and a mother. Kevin Bishop, a teacher at the Toronto Board of Education, files a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission against Air Canada because the aeroplan definition of spouse is someone of the opposite sex so that Bishop is not eligible to have transferred to him on his lover's death his lover's frequent-flyer points. The Canadian Human Rights Commission was at first unwilling to take the case because Bishop's lover is alive. Montreal's new police chief Jacques Duchesneau: "There are those who clamour for more prisons to lock up young offender. My answer is that we need more good parents.... It doesn't matter if it's a single parent, gay, lesbian, rich or poor as long as the parent takes care of the children." Police, he added, "need to get more sensitive to the differences and get closer to the similarities and the will to cooperate with people whose origins or sexual orientation are different from that of the majority." A labour board rules that Israel's state airline, El Al, must offer same-sex spousal benefits to employees. The judgement (in the case of a steward Jonathan Danilovitch complaining his lover could not receive the once-a-year complimentary plane ticket given to heterosexual spouses) cites Israel's 1992 equal opportunity law, which forbids job-related discrimination on the grounds of

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection sexual orientation. El Al appeals. The case, which has been lodged by JD and appealed by El Al for 6 years, reaches the supreme court Dec 94. Feb 1994 ILGA's Yves de Matthies (Switzerland) addresses the UN Commission on Human Rights in response to the Vatican's denunciation of the European parliaments resolution (Jan 94) that homosexual couples be allowed to marry and adopt children. Xtra! survey on computer firms and same-sex spousal benefits: Apple, Microsoft Corp., and Silicon Graphics provide same-sex spousal benefits to employees in the US but not in Canada, claiming the law here prohibits them. [NB: Apple changed policy on March 1 /94 and now provides SSSBs.] Lotus is more generous in Canada than in the States, where they began to provide same sex spousal benefits in 1991 (running into controversy because they didn't provide benefits to unmarried spousal heterosexuals). Of Lotus' 105 Canadian employees, 2 receive SSSB. Oracle has provided SSSB for the last two years, since employee Owen Plowman requested them; their US company only got there a year later. ATI refused to comment; Corel doesnt do SSSB. National Enquirer prints allegations by the Rev Joseph Chambers, a Pentecostal minister from Charlotte NC that Sesame Street muppets Bert and Ernie are gay. "They're two grown men sharing a house - and a bedroom! They share clothes. They eat and cook together. They vacation together and they have effeminate characteristics," he said. "In one show, Bert teaches Ernie how to sew. In another, they tend plants together. If this isnt meant to represent a homosexual union, I can't imagine what it's supposed to represent." Children's Television Network say B&E "do not portray a gay couple." They "have no sexual orientation. They're cloth puppets, for Pete's sake." Last year, a minister from Charlotte, North Carolina, presumably the same idiot, wrote a booklet (published by Concerned Charlotteans) "Barney the Purple Messiah," about PBS-TV's dinosaur puppet who, he claims, is part of an "evil homosexual" conspiracy. "Barney is teaching kids that we must accept everyone as they are - whether they're homosexuals or lesbians." Feb 1994 Feb 1994 Feb 1994 Ontario AG Marion Boyd, who has twice refused to meet with CLGRO about spousal legislation amendments, refuses to meet with Xtra!. CUPE institutes a workplace equality contract (including sexual orientation) for all suppliers of more than $20,000 worth of goods and services. The Greenland Landstinget (parliament) votes 15-12 to make the 1989 Danish law of registered partnerships for same-sex couples valid in Greenland. Originally Greenland (pop. 56,000) had not gone along with the Danish law. Angles publishes an interview with Hedy Fry containing: "The minister of justice said we are going to amend the Human Rights Act. He's not going to bring back Kim Campbell's definition of family - that's gone. He is an extraordinarily 22

Feb 1994

Feb 1994

Feb 1994

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection sympathetic justice minister who is progressive and positively receptive." ... "We want to stabilize the family units on one hand and recognize the new definition of the family in order to bring legitimacy and equality to those families. " On spousal immigration: Citing the Australian model of interdependent relationships, "Correcting some fundamental issues will reach out not only to assist gays and lesbians, but will assist in bringing their significant others into the country by allowing common-law heterosexual couples to bring in their significant other, who cannot do the same unless they get married. So the issue of marriage as a means to entry will no longer apply." At a Feb 14 meeting with EGALE, Rock reiterates support for amendment of the Canadian Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation and a review of existing legislation with regard to same-sex spousal status. Feb 1994 Trinidadian Lisa Johnson is finally granted a visa to live in Canada. Johnson had graduated in Canada with a business degree and returned to Barbados in February 1992 to apply for Canadian citizenship (sponsored by her Canadian uncle) - and it took two years. Her lover of 6 years was not able to sponsor her for spousal immigration, which would have been fast-tracked. Johnson was frightened: "In Trinidad, nine guys will rape you to make you straight." Her lover, Sylvia Shiell had a miscarriage which Johnson learned about by phone. After its retreat, and after a CLGRO sit-in in Bob Rae's office, the Ontario NDP government announces that they will proceed in the spring with (unspecified) legislation to ensure same-sex spousal status at work. Media coverage stresses the cost to employers, but in fact this is estimated at less than 1% of payroll and in any case LGBs already pay the deductions - effectively we have been subsidizing heterosexual relationships for a good many years. Canadian Auto Workers' negotiate same-sex spousal benefits with federally regulated Northern Telecom (20,000 employees), which proposes to set up its own benefits plan in view of the problems with Revenue Canada. Benefits will be introduced July 1, pensions funded out of general revenues. Also by Bell Northern Research. REAL Women joins the campaign against SSSB. David Mackenzie inherits $20,000 in life insurance when his lover of four years Wilf Gaidosch dies of AIDS; Gaidosch's mother, Irma Klapecki, mounts a major legal challenge, seeking also $10,000 damages for Mackenzie's "highhanded ... and fraudulent" behaviour. A petition signed by 200 notables in Switzerland is about to be presented to the Swiss federal assembly demanding rights for same-sex couples. Ontario AG Marion Boyd's communications officer calls Xtra! to explain that Marion Boyd is not a lesbian, but a married woman.

Feb 1994

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection March 1994 March 1994 March 1994 Federal MP Tom Wappel says damn right spousal recognition is a matter of privileging heterosexuals and so it should be. The Toronto Sun, while not letting up on its homophobic columns and coverage, installs same-sex spousal benefits (except for pensions) for Sun staff. League for the Sexual Rights of the Person, an Italian gay group, files suit March 4 to sue Pope for defamation (see jan 94) and for "a retrograde attempt to marginalize human beings by making a moral judgement about the way they love." March 6 the Pope renews his attack on "divorces, separations, abortions euthanasia and also false and fictitious families between man and man and woman and woman." In a Victoria-Haliburton by-election, the Ont. Tories back their candidate Chris Hodgson in promising they are against same-sex spousal recognition, although in the St George-St David by-election last fall, backing Nancy Jackman, Ontario Tory leader Mike Harris endorsed Jackman's stance in favour of SSSB. Federal labour arbitrator rules that Canada Post must provide SSSBs; case of Luc Guevremont, a payroll clerk in Vancouver, filed in 1992. Second such case advanced and won by PSAC in 6 months. Air Canada decides that air-miles credits can be transferred to a same-sex spouse on the death of a partner (see jan 94, Kevin Bishop) "upon receipt of a legal document ... confirming the beneficiary." Bishop drops his Canadian Human Rights Commission complaint. Federal justice dept. asks Ontario Court General Division to postpone hearings in Rosenberg/CUPE, on same-sex spousal status until the fall, fueling speculation that the government. will produce legislation. Metro Toronto councillors votes behind closed doors to refuse Bill Dwyer's request that they widen the range of same-sex spousal benefits it provides to include eg bereavement leave, something Ottawa-Carleton has had in place since 1992, and of course pension benefits. They will now oppose Dwyer's Ontario Human Rights Commission complaint. Federal justice dept. drops its appeal of the Public Service Staff Relations Board ruling (Sept. 93) in the case, filed 1992, of David Lorenzen, who had been denied family care and bereavement leave. Adjudicator Galipeau had ruled that refusal to provide the leave violated the Canadian Human Rights Act. This is labour arbitration and not necessarily binding even in the 220,000 federal public servants covered by the same collective agreement. Ontario treasurer Floyd Laughren is quoted in the G&M as saying that SSSB is affordable; he estimates the cost increase of providing same-sex spousal benefits at 0.01%. The G&M (April 7) supplies "the going estimate seems to be one-tenth of one per cent of the cost of corporate and government benefits."

March 1994

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection April 1994 May 1994 Ontario Tory Human Rights Critic Don Cousens circulates a petition against recognizing same-sex relationships because they threaten family values. First gay prom in US: Los Angeles Unified School District, 2nd largest school district in the States, host prom for more than 100 couples. The district also offers an alternative school for gay students. The leader of Nova Scotia's NDP introduces private member's bill for same-sex spousal benefits, but in NS private members bills can only be discussed, not voted on. The Liberal government has said it would recognize same-sex relationships for the purpose of disqualification from social assistance. By a margin of nearly 2-1, delegates at a policy conference of the federal Liberals voted down a motion, introduced by the party's youth wing, calling for the recognition of same-sex marital and common-law relationships. Liberal Party Convention passes a resolution in support of adding "sexual orientation" to the Canadian Human Rights Act. This resolution affirms a policy resolution from 1978 supporting the prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of "sexual preference. " Despite opposition from Mayor Jacquie Holzman ("I cant support this"), Ottawa City Council passes motion 8-5 in favour of SSSB. Holzman says her objection is based on the views of LGBs who oppose the Ont. government bill. Jim Rawson (see sept 93) takes Anglican Diocese of Toronto to Ontario Human Rights Commission for denying him same-sex spousal survivor pension benefits after the death of his lover. He filed the claim Sept., heard nothing for five months, when they asked advisement from the Ont. Court General Division, saying they were confused by Leshner and exempt because religious. After Rawson files against the church, the trustees stay their suit pending Ontario Human Rights Commission decision. NS Liberal MP Roseanne Skoke on the CBC: "[they] are not families in law and they will not be family." ... "To condone homosexuality, which is an inhuman act, would make us a pagan nation." ... "there are those innocent victims that are dying from AIDS and then there are those homosexualists that are promoting and advancing the homosexual movement and that are spreading AIDS. AIDS is a scourge to mankind and there will be no cure for AIDS. And so this love, this compassion [between homosexuals], based on an inhuman act, defiles humanity, destroys family ... and is annihilating mankind." "To redefine the family to include homosexual and lesbian relationships is immoral, unjust, and a violation of the rights of the family which are well founded in both Canadian and natural law... The family unit is the basic institution of life and the solid foundation on which our forefathers built this great nations." She also opposes LGB custody and HR protection on the basis of sexual orientation and compares homosexuality to paedophilia and bestiality. (see march and sept 94)

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection May 1994 Allan Rock at a human rights conference explains the federal government is not planning to give legislative recognition to same-sex couples: "The amendment which we contemplate at present is simply to extend sexual orientation as a grounds on which discrimination is prohibited." Federal justice minister Allan Rock says the Ontario spousal rights bill is "unduly provocative," adding that he doesn't favour changing the definition of spouse or family. But he repeats his pledge to tackle hate crimes, including those based on sexual orientation and says he expects legislation to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act in the fall. Ontario's bill 167 (the equality rights statute law amendment act) to introduce relationships recognition for same-sex couples passes first reading 57-52. 20 of the 130 MPPs were absent and 12 NDP MPPs including two cabinet ministers voted against. Aloysius Ambrozic, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Toronto instructs his 200 parishes (more-than-one-million parishioners) to write to Queen's Park opposing the bill, saying homosexuals must -as individuals - have all the same rights as everyone else (a change in his position, since he opposed bill 7) but "any attempt to promote a homosexual lifestyle as the equivalent of legal marriage must be vigorously opposed." (In a 1993 interview in Toronto Life, AA said, "We should be kind to homosexuals and understand their problems. ...The poor devils, they're their own worst enemies. But all my sympathy for them will not allow me to say, You can go ahead and have relationships." Liberals and Tories are also officially against. But a panel of clerics (RC, Anglican, Jewish, and United Church) holds a press conference in favour. Toronto City Council refuses to support the Ont' government bill giving equal rights to LGB couples, even without the adoption provisions.

May 1994

May 1994

May 1994

May/June 94 Svend Robinson tables two private member's bills, one to add s.o. to the Canadian Human Rights Act, one to amend the Income Tax Act, also a motion to urge the government to legislate equality for LG couples. June 1994 Despite the government last minute offer to compromise by dropping adoption and an equal definition of spouse (proposing a category "domestic partner" instead), Ontario's bill 167 (see may 94) is lost on second reading 68-59. 5 10,000 LGBs in Toronto protest march. An Angus Reid poll released June 8 had shown 38% in favour of the legislation as it was and 16% in favour of the legislation but with the adoption provision dropped. Federal Reform MP Myron Thompson (Wild Rose, Alberta) issues press release: "The failure of the militant gay and lesbian special interests to get same-sex legislation passed in Ontario is a victory for the traditional family" and "as an executive member of the Reform Family Unity Task Force, he will continue to focus the attention of Canadians, [that] much of the blame for juvenile crime, child and family abuse and violence against women can be directly linked to

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection previous governments that forgot the traditional family was the most important link to social order and peace in Canada." The Campaign for Equal Families demands that Tim Murphy push forward with his bill (see june, dec 93); party leader Lynn McLeod forbids him to do so; a demonstration then demands both their resignations. Lynn McLeod who had made progay by-election statements in March, and said in May "I support the extension of family and survivor benefits to same-sex spouses," voted against the bill. McLeod objected to the adoption and "spouse" parts of the bill, which were then dropped; she voted against anyway. Ont. AG Morion Boyd says she will not automatically contest court actions by lesbians and gay men seeking adoption, and "certainly" not "if the facts of the case are such that it's in the public interest." Allan Rock says there is no connection between the Ontario vote and the plans of the federal government (but see his "unduly provocative" comments in May). Toronto mayor June Rowlands later explains why she voted against the city supporting 167. She was worried about adoption, and she just didnt have time to find out the facts. She feels she's an equal rights supporter, but she feels the gay community should only have asked for one right at a time, and anyway "heterosexual couples are generally married and that gives stability.' June 1994 Pediatrics publishes findings of American Academy of Pediatrics study of sexually abused children that they were unlikely (2 cases out of the 269 studied) to have been abused by people identified as lesbian or gay. Immigration Canada circulates a telex to all immigration officers in foreign posts advising them to seriously consider same-sex relationship as a humanitarian and compassionate ground for allowing immigration Dan McCaw, president of William M Mercer consultants (Toronto), estimates the cost increase of providing same-sex spousal benefits at less than of 1%. Qubec Human Rights Commission says Qubec should introduce a similar bill to Ontario's (leaving out adoption and marriage, but including pensions and establishing a registry for domestic partnerships). The 41 recommendations in the commission's report, From Illegality to Equality, also advocated steps to combat antigay violence, to improve health care and community services and change the police from adversaries to protectors. The current Liberal government has three weeks left to run and it is expected that an election will be held before the next session of the national assembly. Even before the report is released, justice minister Roger Lefebvre says his government is unlikely to be in favour. LGB activists say they expect better treatment from the Parti Qubcois. Environics Research Group releases March/April survey of 1,000 Ontario residents: 55% for and 39% against same-sex spousal benefits (for: 63% of those aged 18-24, 18% of those over 55); 50% against and 40% for redefining spouse; 27

June 1994

June 1994 June 1994

June 1994

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection 37% for and 56% against adoption by LGBs; 60% for inheritance rights and property rights when relationships break up. Support markedly stronger among the young and in larger communities. June 1994 IBM (see sept 92) will provide same-sex spousal benefits as of October). BC Telecom (10,000 employees) proposes to include SSSB in a two-year contract yet to be ratified; company VP Paul Smith says cost will be minimal. At Ontario Hydro, fewer than 20 of their current 22,500 employees have signed up for samesex benefits; 12 out of 700 at The Globe & Mail, less than 1% of staff at Sick Kids. Since Denmark legalized same-sex "registered partnerships" (civil marriages) in 1989, nearly 3,000 couples have married. Of the under 70s more men than women; over 70 vice versa. One male couple was over 80. Margot Gibb-Clark in a June 8 Globe and Mail article points out that, typically, less than 1% of employees claim SSSB, therefore SSSB will cost half of 1% of payroll. A June 16 letter points out that medical and dental benefits are generally 5-7% of payroll and 5% of 1% is only five hundredths of a per cent, not half. Federal MP Svend Robinson files complaint with Canadian Human Rights Commission against the fed. government's board of internal economy which oversees the government's $24 million commons budget on the grounds of sexual orientation for denying same-sex spousal benefits. Government whip Alphonso Gagliano says he would prefer the matter be settled in the courts. The senate extended some family and bereavement leave benefits to same-sex couples in 1990. Denis O'Hagan leaves work early because his partner was in an accident. He is fired and hears his boss at the luggage store in Willowdale say "I dont need this faggot bullshit." Virginia appeals court judge Sam Coleman returns custody of her two year old Tyler Doustou to his lesbian mother Sharon Bottoms; it had been given to his grandmother Kay Bottoms (see sept 93). Judge: A child's natural and legal right to the care and support of a parent and the parent's right to the custody and companionship of the child should only be disrupted if there are compelling reasons to do so." He said the grandmother had only the same status as any other third party and "Even when the parental level of care may be only marginally satisfactory, courts may not take custody of a child from his or her parents simply because a third party may be willing and able to provide better care for the child." The husband had separated from the wife when she was two months pregnant and supported her custody. "The fact that a mother is a lesbian and has engaged in illegal sexual acts does not alone justify taking custody of a child from her and awarding the child to a non-parent." "A court will not remove a child from the custody of the parent based on proof that the parent is engaged in private, illegal sexual conduct or conduct considered by some to be deviant in the absence of 28

June 1994

June 1994

June 1994

June 1994

June 1994

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection proof that such behaviour poses a substantial threat of harm to a child's emotional, psychological, or physical well-being." June 1994 First gay marriages in Brazil: three couples (two gay and one lesbian) married by evangelical pastor Owaldo Alves Pereira of the Christian Pacifist Community church who is subsequently subject to death threats, rocks through the window and a firebomb set off in his home. Swedish parliament votes 171-141 (5 abstentions, 32 absences) for the registered partnership law, giving same-sex relationships the same rights as heterosexual ones (except for adoption and artificial insemination). The law is similar to those on Denmark and Norway. Swedish PM Carl Bildt: "We accept homosexual love as equivalent to heterosexual. Love is an important force to personal as well as social development and should therefore not be denied." Roman gynaecologist Giuseppe Ambrassa, who six months ago provided artificial insemination to a lesbian couple after psychological testing showing that they would make able parents, comes under fire in newspapers. Corriera della Sera speaks of "a strange couple," La Stampa of the "unnatural environment" for the child. Vaticans official newspaper: "No child lives being known as the child of an unmarried mother, even less so of a lesbian mother. ... Every child has the right to be born into a regular family made up of a man and a woman." Swiss Federated Railways announced reduced-fare spousal passes for same-sex couples who live together. Israel's Knesset votes to equate the pension rights of gay domestic partners with those of heterosexuals. This amendment to the national pension bill needs to pass two more readings and is thought likely to succeed. It was introduced by Yael Dayan, daughter of Moshe and chair of the Knesset's Gay & Lesbian Rights Committee. The government-funded New Zealand Tourism Board mounts a campaign to attract gay Australian tourists; a Sydney gay couple goes to NZ as a guest of the board to be used in the campaign. Tourism minister John Banks objects because of health and social risks. Spanish ministry of social affairs announces a bill for the fall giving equal rights to unmarried couples, straight or gay - except for adoption and shared paternal authority. If it is passed, it will make Spain unique in the Catholic world. Cp EC resolution Feb., since which 28 cities including Valencia have approved the registration of gay "stable unions" on the same basis as common law straight ones. Over 5.7m employees or one in four of Fortune 500 service and industrial corporations now are protected by antidiscrimination policies that include s. o. protection. Wall Street Project co-chair Diane Bratcher says that most of these policies are in place as a result of employee requests.

June 1994

June 1994

Mid-1994 Mid-1994

Mid-1994

Mid-1994

July 1994

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection July 1994 Taiwan: Ministry of the Interior denies gay man's request to marry his partner. Deputy director Tsai Tsai-fung: "Marriage is a matter of public order and good custom. When you say marriage, that means a man and a woman. The law is very clear." Earlier this year, Taiwan's armed forces declared than gay men were exempt (though not banned) from mandatory military service; women are not conscripted. Sydney City Council gives family leave to same-sex partners, thus preempting the test case against the Australian Council of Trade Unions. University of Western Ontario implements same-sex spousal benefits after foodservices worker Dani Gruden grieved through his union. Panel reviewing Alberta's human rights law releases report saying "sexual orientation" protection should be added, the complaint procedure should be more accessible, all new buildings in the province should be wheelchair accessible, the AHRC be authorized to initiate complaints include those of systemic discrimination. Alberta premier Ralph Klein has said that he will eliminate his province's entire human rights act before he provides protection to lesbians and gay men. Washington Post initially refuses the ($100 ad) birth announcement of Ana Vanessa, born July 24 to Valerie Ploumpis and Lu Palma American Academy of Pediatrics study finds children more often sexually abused by heterosexuals than by lesbians or gay men. Of the 249 cases studied, only two offenders were identified as gay/lesbian, making the chances of a child's being molested by a heterosexual 100% higher. Researchers were from the U of Colorado, Denver's Children's Hospital, the Kempe Childrens Centre, and the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine. After three years of discussion the US Episcopalian bishops decide sex is only for heterosexual marriages; "steadfast love can be for homosexual persons an experience of God" however; report does not comment either way on church law about ordination or blessing gay unions; intention "to continue dialogue." UK: a first: court ruling gives Manchester lesbian couple equal legal status as parents of a 22-month-old boy; but the man who impregnated the mother faces an investigation by the child support agency since both mothers live on state benefits.

July 1994 July 1994 July 1994

July 1994 July 1994

July 1994

July 1994

August 1994 Ontario AG Marion Boyd announces she has an "untraditional" family: hubby and male friend live in London; Boyd lives mostly in Toronto with mother; adult daughter is now independent. August 1994 Minneapolis-based National Car Rental, the 3rd largest auto rental firm in the US, has expanded its list of those who can legally drive rented cars to include common-law spouses and domestic partners of same-sex couples. Probably the first car rental company to do so.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection August 1994 BC Ministry of Social Services and Housing deny social assistance to Parkash Siddhu after her UI runs out because she lives with her lover Susan who has a good job with the government. Susan however doesnt get spousal benefits at work and cannot claim Parkash as a spouse on her income tax. August 1994 Star/Environics July/August telephone poll of 1001 adults find 53% for and 44% against same-sex spousal benefits, 50% in favour of same-sex spousal rights legislation though 47% think it should be dropped permanently; 67% (57% strongly) against, 16% (13% strongly) for LGB couple adoption; and 55% think "spouse" and "family" should not be legally redefined to include same-sex couples; 41% were for it. 14% had not heard of bill 167; 15% blamed the NDP for its defeat, 10% the PCs, and many the Liberals. August 1994 Australian Bureau of Statistics will count lesbigay pairs as families in its Aug 96 census; federal cabinet OKs. Previously LGB families were designated "invalid." Fall 1994 One day after senator Jesse Helms cosponsors an amendment to block funding for schools that do not condemn homosexuality (his cosponsor Robert C Smith cited Heather Has Two Mommies as an example of the obscenity involved), North Carolina's Chapel Hill-Carboro schoolboard unanimously votes to include sexual orientation in its 40-page diversity education plan, which includes a support person for LGB students and families in every school. California governor, Republican Pete Wilson vetoes a statewide domestic partners measure which would have given to common-law couples - straight and gay some benefits only available to married couples. The Balay Rehabilitation Centre, a human rights organization in the Philippines which helps former political detainees, fires two women, Elizabeth Lim and Evangeline Castronuevo, for having an affair. An Australian appeal court backs the High Court's ruling of earlier this year that lesbianism does not make a woman an unfit mother. 27-year-old mother of two toddlers who lives with her lover, court finds, can give the children "more of a normal life than the father" who has to rely on caregivers Netherlands: new coalition government under Wim Kok states policy intention to withdraw the bill abolishing the anonymity of sperm donors and investigate LG adoption. The discussion on draft bill for registered partnerships is temporarily halted (see oct 93). UN Population and Development Conference in Cairo fails to recognize any other family unit than the heterosexual nuclear family; the conference document puts in place a 20-year plan. In Sept 93, Ross and Luis Lopton, a gay couple in Seattle were allowed to adopt a 4 year old boy, Gailen, a year after birth mother Megan Lucas gave him up. When she learned Gailen had gone to a gay couple, Lucas tried to get the boy back. She was turned down, because of a history of alcohol and drugs, by the tribunal. Now 31

Sept 1994

Sept 1994

Sept 1994

Sept 1994

Sept 1994

Sept 1994

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection the supreme court of state of Washington rejects appeal. Washington is one of the six US states to allow same-sex couple adoption. Oct 1994 Christina Schenk and Volker Beck, one of the 49 Green Party MPs, are the first out gays elected to Germany's lower house of parliament; he wants to legalize same-sex marriages. After a two-year study by staff, foster parents, and board members, Metro Childrens Aid society announces they are in support of letting same-sex couple foster and adopt. Director Bruce Rivers: "Our stance is really clear. Same-sex parents ought to be considered as adoptive and foster parents. They should not be discriminated against in the application process." Also "There is no question that we have a number of lesbian and gay foster kids and we are committed to giving them the best role models and providing for them a safe environment." But, he adds, CAS cant change it's policy until the law changes. Pity they didn't decided to say all this before 167 went down. Andrea Underwood's four-year battle to sponsor her spouse Anna Carrott for immigration ends in success. Initially immigration wouldn't even consider the application; Underwood's lawyer began a federal court action; immigration then agreed to look at the application, decided Carrott was not a spouse and said no again; lawyer went to Immigration Appeal Board and used Charter arguments about the Immigration Act; case still to be heard; Carrott's application for permanent residence granted. C and U have been together for 11 years and were recognized in the UK as a family unit for adoption purposes. LEGIT say they know of 62 L/G couples who have successfully used the "humanitarian and compassionate" criteria since 1993. C and U may well launch a marriage case next.... Regulations state that H&C grounds "include the existence of a stable relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident" ... Missions [consulates] should recognize that undue hardship would often result from separating or continuing separation of a bona-fide same-sex or common-law couple." Oct 1994 Bill C-41, the hate-motivated crime bill, passes second reading. Only Reform MPs voted against, though the Tories and some Liberals, abstained. The bill would require federal judges to take hate-motivation into account when sentencing (as is already the case in Ontario). Ken Epp, Reform MP for Elk Island Alberta, says that sexual fidelity will end AIDS and solve everything. Art Hanger, Calgary Northeast, says he does not believe homosexuals should be treated as families. Bnai Brith writes in support. Hawaii governor John Waihee appoints a commission on sexual orientation and the law, headed by former circuit-court judge and former mayor of Hawaii Shunichi Kimura. The commissions beginning is delayed by fundamentalist objections that its existence violates the separation of church and state. Meanwhile the Hawaii Equal Rights Marriage Project is mounting a court 32

Oct 1994

Oct 1994

Oct 1994

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection challenge, following the May 93 supreme court decision that the government must show a "compelling interest" to refuse licences. Oct 1994 Nov 1994 Ontario government passes an order-in-council to create a pension plan for government employees that will include same-sex relationship benefits. Ontario Attorney General Marion Boyd asks a judge to rule that the provincial family law act is unconstitutional because it discriminates against lesbians and gay men. The AG has intervenor status in a same-sex alimony case, MvH. Lawyer Martha McCarthy argues for H that the FLA violates the Charter in preventing her from obtaining financial support. Last February, Justice Gloria Epstein, Ontario Court General Division, ruled that she couldnt decide whether H was entitled to support before the issue of the Family Law Act and the Charter was sorted out. Case adjourned pending decision in Egan and Nesbit. Behind-closed-doors arbitration instructs the U of Lethbridge to extend SSSB in the case of a gay prof. Arbitrators say the faculty associations contract with the university's board of governors prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. BC social services minister Joy MacPhail tells an LGB meeting that the BC NDP government has granted SSSBs to its unionized employees and is even now drafting legislation to allow lesbians and gay men to adopt. Kristin Ruppert, 28, whose application for permanent residence in Canada was refused earlier this year and who was ordered out of the country by June, argued for compassionate and humanitarian grounds, receives a letter from Immigration saying "being separated would not cause undue hardship" to her and her lover E B Brownlie. The couple will take the case to the federal court. In the meantime, Ruppert is not allowed to work here. Ruppert has visited Canada six times to be with Brownlie. Lawyer Tom Schweitzer. Sergo Marchi, minister of immigration, is under much pressure from homophobes in the house and is no longer willing to issue ministerial permits for lesbians and gay men to stay with their partners, says lawyer Mary Joseph. Another couple is involved Marco Talerho (lover of Canadian Blair Blake) has also been served with a deportation order. Nov 1994 Egan and Nesbit's challenge to the Old Age Security Act reaches the supreme court (lawyer Joseph Arvay). Jim Egan, now 73, and Jack Nesbit, 66, have lived together since 1948. Government lawyers argue that lesbians and gay men are not a needy group; the 9 justices regard this with scepticism since the supplement E&N were denied was a low-income supplement. Government argue it is not proved that L/Gs are a disadvantaged group. Madame Justice Claire l'HeureuxDub: "If parliament said, 'We know white women are poor; we don't know about the other group, black women,' is that acceptable?" Intervenor Status: 5 for Canadian Human Rights Commission, QHRC, Can Labour Congress, EGALE, MCCT; 9 against - Attorney General Qubec, Can Conference of Catholic 33

Nov 1994

Nov 1994

Nov 1994

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Bishops, REALWomen, Focus on Family, Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim groups, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and the antigay Interfaith Coalition on Marriage and the Family which argues the state can and should "privilege" heterosexual relationships. In its joint brief, the coalition said, "Society is more prepared to eat excrement than it is prepared to accept homosexual relationships." Ontario Government withdrew its support of E&N following the defeat of 167. Decision is now reserved. Nov 1994 Paramount Pictures will join Viacom, Universal, Warner Brother, MCA, and Sony (which owns TriStar and Columbia) in offering same-sex spousal health insurance coverage. A management-union (Can Telephone Employees Assn) arbitration hearing on same-sex benefits finds Bell Canadas health benefits policy in violation of the Canadian Human Rights Act and asks Bell to extend SSSBs; this affects Ontario and Qubec only. Carl Miller and GLOBE (Bell employees) had met with management to ask for SSSB in 1991. Complaint lodged with Canadian Human Rights Commission by Michael Lee in June 1992 - decision still pending; Rick Waller also lodged a complaint in 1992 but died July 1994. Benefits also denied by Bell Sygma in 1993. Case turns on union agreement which contains the words "sexual orientation." Northern Telecom (20,000 employees) and Bell-Northern Research had instituted SSSBs including pensions in Feb 94 (effective July 94). (see feb 94) The Ontario HRC announces that the provincial Registrar's Office has agreed to allow same-sex parents to give the child(ren) a combination of their surnames. Newly out Montreal MP Ral Mnard tables a private member's bill for same sex spousal rights; it would change over 40 federal laws. A representative for Jean Chrtien says there will not be a free vote when it comes to changing the Canadian Human Rights Act. Spain: Valencia regional parliament approves new adoption law; provisional fostering but not adoption (which is the turf of the national government) can be granted to married or common-law couples of either sex. HOSI Wien organizes symbolic weddings of a lesbian and a gay couple at Vienna City Hall. The couples turn up, the registrar turns them down, an actress administers the ceremony used in Norway. Liberal Forum MP Volker Kier speaks in support, pointing out that his party advocates same-sex relationship recognition. A labour party youth movement leader is there but no top-level politicians. Christian Democrats not invited. City councillor Maria Hampel-Fuchs calls the wedding "dgoutant." 25-year-old UBC student Anne-Marie Bouthillette given $14,154 grant by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. to research the impact of gay-male households on a

Nov 1994

Nov 1994 Nov 1994 Nov 1994 Nov 1994

Nov 1994

Nov 1994

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection high-priced, highrise neighbourhood and of lesbian households in an immigrant, working-class area. Dec 1994 Allan Rock says he might break his promise to introduce HRA amendments this month. "Generally I like to do what I say I'm going to do - and generally I do. I'm not comfortable when I don't - and I'm not comfortable here. But I say that you will see us acting on the commitment and it will be in the new year" Maybe February ... Later in the month, Chrtien is said to refuse to allow the amendments to be introduced before the end of the year. In Rosenberg/CUPE (against the ITA), CUPE accuses the federal government of stalling. Toronto Dominion bank changes its definition of common-law spouses to include same-sex couples. Spain: national parliament approves request that the government consider a law on relationship recognition. The socialist party PSOE and the Spanish society Izquierda Unida (IU) were for, the conservatives (PP) abstained on technical grounds (finding the adoption provisions not specific enough). This proposal is based on a sample law written by Madrid LG group COGAM and the Federation of Spanish LGs in August 93. Other LG groups have made proposals and the IU has made its own. Adoption is the centre of the fuss (see nov 94). Quebec Human Rights Commission finds for Colette Trudel and Louise Lahaie who were refused entry to the Camping et Plage Gilles Fortier Inc in July 1993 because of the campground's policy of excluding groups of two or more same-sex adults; the owner said the policy was to discourage rowdy behaviour. Compensation $1000 each. Israel's supreme court orders El Al to provide SSSBs such as complimentary tickets (see jan 94). It is hoped this ruling will affect complaints against Tel Aviv U and the armed forces currently before lower courts. Deputy attorney general Nahum Rakover, expert on Jewish religious law: "We must ignore the sexual tendencies between a couple of the same sex as we do between a man and an animal." Gay New Yorker Henry Kirkpatrick wins the legal battle to inherit the apartment he shared with his lover who died five years ago; unfortunately Kirkpatrick died in 1993. Kirkpatrick's companion will now inherit the apartment. The NY City HRC and the board of the co-op reached a settlement and the co-op will amend its bylaws to make domestic partners equivalent to married spouses. South Dakota supreme court justice Robert A Miller gives custody of her two children to Lori van Driel, a lesbian mother who lives with her lover. Miller says justices must be guided by principles of law rather than by moral evaluation of the mother's conduct, the children prefer to live with their mother, and they have not been harmed by her orientation. 35

Dec 1994 Dec 1994 Dec 1994

Dec 1994

Dec 1994

Dec 1994

Late-1994

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Late-1994 Despite the Sept 94 Australian appeal court decision reinforcing the Australian High Court's ruling of earlier this year that lesbianism does not make a woman an unfit mother, Australia's northern territory plans to change its laws to exclude lesbians and single straight women from its government-funded artificial insemination programme; lawmakers will change the territory's antidiscrimination legislation to exempt the fertilization procedure to give priority to "stable" family environments. Austin TX: partnership law repealed (60-40). In 1994 the office of the prosecutor grants Martha Alvarez, a prisoner in La Badea women's prison in Pereira, Colombia, authorization for a spousal visit from her woman lover, but the prison director (who has unofficially stated that "abnormal and immoral acts" will not be permitted in the prison) fails to respond. The ombudsman now acts on Alvarez' behalf, the director stalls, the superior court of Santa Rosa de Cabal refuses to hear the case since homosexual acts go against prison discipline. Alvarez is transferred to another and worse institution. Gay activists in Switzerland present the government with an 84,000-name petition calling for the legalization of gay marriage. Iceland parliament Altinget's gay issue committee recommends legalizing gay marriage, criminalizing discrimination, increasing gay+ education in the schools. Hans Jonsson (43) and Sven-Olaf Jansson (58) in Ostersund are the first gay couple to register under the new Swedish relationships recognition legislation. Local governments have appointed officials to oversee the registrations everywhere but Varnamo, a conservative town east of Stockholm. The Toronto Hospital extends same sex spousal benefits to employees. Lesbian RCMP officer now living in Inuvik files complaint with Canadian Human Rights Commission because her partner was denied reallocation benefits. In a CBC radio interview, Jean Chrtien, who had previously confirmed there would not be a free vote on the subject, says more debate is needed before an amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act can be introduced to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. After behind-closed-doors arbitration (see nov 94) instructs the U of Lethbridge to extend SSSB in the case of a gay prof, the university's president Howard Tennant tells the Lethbridge Herald not all employees will be able to get SSSBs since the arbitration only applies to one case and is not policy. Alberta Report headline: "Taxpayers Forced to Subsidize Gay Professor's Concubine." Speaking at Kingston Collegiate, Bob Rae says he will reintroduce relationships recognition legislation if reelected. A breathless hush descends on Ontario. Treasury Board Montreal human resources department employee Rjean Lebeau was denied bereavement leave when his lover died Oct 92. Jan 95, four days 36

1994 Jan 1995

Jan 1995 Jan 1995 Jan 1995

Jan 1995 Jan 1995 Jan 1995

Jan 1995

Jan 1995 Jan 1995

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection before the complaint was due to go to arbitration, TB issued an order allowing the leave. Jan 1995 Jim Bigney, a civilian employee in the base supply division of the department of national defence in Halifax, is granted the 61 hours he requested for family leave to care for his lover of 13 years - fourteen months after he made the request. His lover John Morrow died in 1993. Bigney fought then for bereavement leave, now for Morrow's pension benefits of $350. Treasury Board letter to PSAC: "for humanitarian reasons, the employer hereby grants the leave requested in these grievances, without prejudice." The feds do not consider this a precedent. ALMA, the All Lesbian Mothers' Association of London Ont. is featured on the first billboard of the Families Valued Campaign (illustration of two women with child); 7 billboards are rotating around downtown London in a project curated by UWO visual arts instructor Sara Hartland-Rowe. Other groups profiled include a native friendship centre and a Jewish community centre. Response almost all positive so far. Reform Party MPs on the issue of same-sex spousal immigration: Alberta MP Grant Hill in reference to a documentary about a Costa Rican lesbian who had been sexually assaulted and brutalized says she was given refuge in Canada "because she is gay"; Cariboo-Chilcotin MP Philip Mayfield on refugee status for a Polish HIV+ gay man: "Given the question of whether homosexuality is the result of genetic makeup or environmental influence is far from settled, the minister cannot say whether [this man] was or was not a member of a social group." Robert Dodsworth (22, father of 4-year-old daughter) and Darren Mosher (29) will marry in the United Church, though Mississauga City Hall refuses marriage licence. They will wear rings on their right hands, and Mosher will change his name to Dodsworth. After management-union arbitration in 1994 (see nov 94) and just before a 4-yearold-complaint reaches the Canadian Human Rights Commission tribunal, Bell Canada institutes SSSBs. Northern Telecom (20,000 employees) and BellNorthern Research had done so in Feb 94 (effective July 94) Arbitrator instructs CBC to provide an employee with SSSBs. The Alberta-based reporter for Societ Radio-Canada filed complaint in Nov 93, citing the inclusion of sexual orientation in the bargaining unit contract. Hawaii senate passes bill 888 (24-1, the objector being a republican with a gay brother and a gay+ RC-priest cousin) to create a new 7-member commission to study same-sex relationships recognition (see oct 94) after fundies hampered the old one enough that it couldn't finish by the appointed time (Jan 95). The new commission has no catholic and no mormon members (the old one had two of each, which was ruled unconstitutional by the federal courts), but also does not have to have members of the ERMP. 37

Jan 1995

Feb 1995

Feb 1995

Feb 1995

Feb 1995

Feb 1995

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Feb 1995 Information gets out via a leaked government memo: After a ten-year study, BC government changes adoption rules to allow single people, gay and straight, to adopt children. The ministry of social services issues a directive that "restrictions related to marital status, the capacity to have a biological child, or the number of children in the family are removed." Previously only married people were allowed to adopt a healthy child under 2. Now "couples who are not legally married can apply to adopt, but only one of the parents may adopt." However Trudy Usher, head of the BC adoption services, says the memo was just to give single and married people the same rights under law, and prospective parents are rigorously vetted (no enquiries made into sexual orientation). Reform Party MPs squeaked. Liberal critic Val Anderson, a United Church minister, says he is not against the idea of adoption by same-sex couples, though he later tables a petition against (see apr 95) as do two other Liberals. NS PWA Coalition chair Wilson Hodder is fighting for his late partner's spousal benefits. Terry Martin, lovers with Hodder for 24 years, was employed by the NS department of education for 24 years and died Nov 94. In early Feb, officials asked Hodder to complete a direct-deposit form, then the province's finance department rejected the request. Since April 94, NS has been studying the issue of same sex spousal benefits; in December 94 Halifax accepted the claim of a lesbian couple and became the first NS municipality to offer SSSBs. The Times says up to 60 Anglican priests in the UK have conducted same-sex marriage ceremonies. York archdeacon the Ven. George Austin: "I had no idea there were ceremonies in the church. It's such a perversion of a church wedding that you shouldn't even have to point out it is wrong." Hungary's constitutional court rules in favour of recognizing same-sex unions under common law ("It is arbitrary and contrary to human dignity ... that the law withholds recognition from couples living in an economic and emotional union simply because they are same sex"), but excludes them from civil law which specifies that only opposite-sex couples can be married ("Despite growing acceptance of homosexuality and changes in the traditional definition of family, there is no reason to change the law on marriages"). In Hungary, there is little difference between the rights accorded to common-law and civil law unions. Parliament has to implement the change by March 1 1996. Petitions tabled in parliament by midMarch this year: 79 against and 30 for sexual orientation in the Canadian Human Rights Act; 8 petitions against the proposed hate crimes legislation; 3 petitions to preserve the family as a heterosexual institution.; 2 against same-sex spousal benefits. MPs who tabled antigay petitions without repudiating their contents: NDP Nelson Rils (Kamloops); Liberals Paul Steckle (Huron-Bruce), Anna Terrana (Vancouver East), Robert Nault (Kenora Rainy River), Tony Valeri (Lincoln), Francis Leblanc (Cape Breton Highlands-Canso), Marlene Cowling (Dauphin-Swan River), Peter Millikin (Kingston and the Islands). 38

Feb/Mar 95

March 1995

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection March 1995 In addition to Liberal Tom Wappel's feelings that "sexual orientation" human rights protect would extend to bestialists, pedophiles, and necrophiles, Vancouver-area Reform MP Paul Forseth opposes our inclusion in the hate crimes bill C-41 because gaybashing is as likely to be perpetrated by vengeful gays suffering from the effects of shortterm relationships and poor health. Liberal Karen Kraft-Sloan (York-Simcoe) made a strong speech on the other side. Royal Ontario Museum sends memo to staff announcing same-sex spousal benefits are available to staff applying by May 1 (12 months min. relationship). For family admission to the ROM, any combination of 2 adults counts. Imperial Oil employee, engineer David Mitges, who launched suit for SSSB in 1992, tries as a shareholder to get the issue raised at the AGM but is turned down because he owns his shares through an employee savings plan; he converts his ownership and is turned down because he wasn't a registered owner when he submitted his proposal. At the April 19 AGM chairman Bob Peterson says Imperial Oil will not extend SSSBs. Mitges is booed when speaking and not allowed to present his motion. He lodges a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission April 1995 The three pieces of provincial substitute-decision legislation enacted December 1994 come into effect April 3. The Substitute Decisions Act, the Advocacy Act, and the Consent to Treatment Act. CBC (see feb 95) issues memo extending SSSBs. Amsterdam City Council calls on Netherlands government to provide legal recognition for same-sex relationships (see oct 93, sept 94). They do allow samesex-lover immigration. Khandal Province, Cambodia: Two Cambodian women are married in traditional ceremony: Khav Sokha taxidriver turned medicine women, mother of 3, and Purn Eth, 31. Agence France-Press news service report Khav Sokha "is very much the husband" in this partnership which "has become the talk of the country." Association of Italian Medical and Dental Surgeons orders its 300,000 members to restrict artificial insemination to "normal couples," excluding lesbians and women over 50, calls on the Italian government to legislate thus. Three Liberal politicians in BC have presented petitions in the legislature opposing LGB adoption (see feb 95) - Wilf Hurd (Surrey-White Rock) 673 names, Val Anderson even though he is not against (Vancouver-Langara) 415 names, Michael de Jong (Matsqui) 2200 names Australia: about 70% of employees in New South Wales will get same-sex spousal sick leave in a deal between employers, unions, and state government. This agreement is reached before the start of Industrial Relations Commission hearings to discuss SSSBs. 39

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection April 1995 Tel Aviv University settles out of court and awards full spousal benefits to gay chemistry professor Uzi Even. Over 150 profs and 1200 students signed a petition in favour. A private member's bill tabled in March by out gay BQ MP Ral Mnard is drawn from a lottery and receives its first hour of debate. Motion 264: "It is moved that, in the opinion of the House, the government should take the measures necessary for the legal recognition of same-sex spouses." (see june 95) Cardinal Basil Hume, head of the RC church in the UK, says in a media May 1995 statement: "Love between two persons, whether of the same sex or of a different sex, is to be treasured and respected. Nothing in the church's teaching can be said to support or sanction, even implicitly, the victimization of homosexual men and women. Furthermore, homophobia should have no place among Catholics." He noted that the Vatican considers homosex "morally wrong." In a 42- page judgment, Ontario court provincial division judge David Nevins grants adoption orders to four nonbiological mothers living with lesbian mothers and their (collectively) seven children (families: Alison Kemper, Joyce Barnett, Hannah, Robbie; Sheryl Pollock, Lisa Freedman, Jessica, Jordan; Chris Phibbs, Chris Higgins, Zak; Roberta Benson, Miriam Kaufman, Jacob, Aviva) and, citing Charter 15, changes the definition of spouse in Ontario's Child and Family Services Act 136 to include same-sex couples: "Spouse means the person to whom a person of the opposite sex is married or with whom a person of the same or opposite sex is living in a conjugal relationship outside marriage"; the Ontario government had argued that the act contravened the Charter; Marion Boyd announces the government will not appeal the change to the CFSA; last day for filing an appeal is June 8 (election day) but a new government might ask for an extension; the individual adoption orders cannot be appealed. Not yet clear whether the ruling will permit LGB couples to adopt the children of strangers. Lawyers Laurie Pawlitza and Judy Parrack. Nevins: There is no evidence at all that families in which both parents are of the same sex are any more unstable or dysfunctional than families with heterosexual parents. There is no evidence that children raised by homosexual parents are any more likely to develop gender roles or identities inconsistent with their biological sex than children raised by heterosexual parents. ... In short, there is no evidence that families with heterosexual parents are better able to meet the physical, psychological, emotional, or intellectual needs of children than families with homosexual parents. 10-year-old Jacob, son of Roberta Benson and Miriam Kaufman: "I feel happy they're both my legal moms." Both Star and Globe editorialise in favour. Courts in several US states have allowed second-parent adoption in same-sex couples. This decision is not precedent-setting because provincial court is the lowest level but see Gough case in August. 40

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection May 1995 May 1995 Jean Chrtien promises to pass the hate-crimes bill within weeks and "the others" in their remaining three years. Coors Brewing Co., based in Golden, Colorado, offers same-sex spousal benefits to employees. In the bad old days they used to ask prospective employees to take a lie-detector test which included questions about sexual orientation. On benefits: Fiona Sterling, pensions and benefits coordinator, accounting firm Ernst & Young: "I don't think it costs the company any more than it does for regular dependent benefits ... whether it's same sex or different sex." Spokesman at Mississauga-based Northern Telecom says the cost of maintaining family or spousal coverage had not been significant and the percentage of staff claiming SSSBs was "minimal at best." (G&M, May 12) Chinese daily newspaper, Ming Pau, published results of phone poll on gay rights: adoption for 64, against 341, don't know 2; unfortunate effect of adoption on children agree 363, disagree 53, dk 1; adoption is a human rights issue, yes 76, no 330, dk 8; spouse should include same-sex couples yes 73, no 329, dk 8. Egan and Nesbit case judged by supreme court: i) sexual orientation covered by Charter 15 - 9-0; ii) 1 (justifiable discrimination) applied - 5-4; iii) E&N lost their particular claim. Good: first declaration by supreme court confirming use of 15; conceded that denial of benefits = discrimination. Bad: procreational definition of family; supporting traditional family enough justification for discrimination. Sopinka cast the swing vote against, saying society could not financially afford everyone's rights; he feels the concept of homosexual couples is novel and parliament must be given more time. Judge Iacobucci said that to assume no interdependency in same-sex relationships "is not only incorrect but it is also the fruit of stigmatizing stereotype." So far this year, petitions presented in Ottawa: 54 for LGB human rights protection; 30 against LGB mention in the hate crimes bill; 5 for an exclusively heterosexual family; 5 against SSSBs. By the end of May altogether: 71,000 signatures on petitions opposing equal rights for LGBs; 5,386 for. Allan Rock tells House of Commons human rights committee a kind of spousal benefit could be extended to people such as siblings or parents and adult children who share a home; same-sex couples could likely be included here; the definition of marriage would remain untouched. Virginia supreme court reverses the June 94 appellate court decision (see june 94, sept 93) and re-removes custody of her three-year-old Tyler Doustou from his lesbian mother Sharon Bottoms and re-returns it to his grandmother Kay Bottoms. The appeals court said no evidence showed any harmful effect to the child from being with his mother. Grandmama took it to the supreme court.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection May 1995 Official newsletter of Soka Gakkai Buddhist Assn says the group win now perform same-sex wedding ceremonies because of the Buddhist "spirit of nondiscrimination and equality." At the intergovernmental conference in Strasbourg, the European Parliament formally states that prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation should be written into the treaty of the EU when it is revised next year. EP extends to staff in same-sex relationships the spousal right of access to language courses, parliament buildings, and restaurants. Two employees of the Latvian state security service attack LGBs at LASV (Latvian Association for Sexual Equality) celebration of midsummer solstice at campground near Sigulda. Latvia decriminalized sodomy in March 92, giving it an age of consent of 18, but same-sex marriages are banned and policies against recognizing same-sex relationships are legal. Bill C-41, the federal hate-crimes legislation passes commons 168-51, sexual orientation and all. Party whipped: Chrtien warned Liberal MPs that voting against could endanger their nomination papers next election. Liberals voting against the bill: Wappel, Skoke, Dan McTeague, Paul Steckle. Reform MP Myron Thompson says a) it is condoning immorality and b) 85% of Canadians agree with him. The bill allows for judges to use hate-motivation as an aggravating factor in sentencing for violent crimes. Some rumblings about their intentions by Tories in the senate. The bill passes third reading in Senate at the end of June. Parliament debates private member's bill tabled in March by out gay BQ MP Ral Mnard (first reading April) that "the government should take the measures necessary for the legal recognition of same-sex spouses." Skoke and Wappel spoke against. The Canadian Human Rights Commission orders the Bank of Montreal to provide same-sex spousal benefits in the case of BC lesbian Autumn Abrams who applied for and got SSSBs from BMO in 1991 by leaving her partner's gender off the form; company officials found out and cancelled the benefits. BMO will provide a parallel pension plan. Unfortunately, Abrams left the bank in 1994 after working there 5 years. BC NDP government announces intent to amend provincial adoption act to allow any two adults (including common-law same- and opposite-sex couples) to adopt. See feb 94. Brazil: national public opinion poll shows 60% in favour of recognizing same sex relationships. Activists with the Atoba Group and the Gay Group of Bahia demand that Brazil give legal status to same-sex relationships and threaten to out 18 leading members of the government and 50 in the Catholic Church otherwise. Congresswoman Marta Suplicy has already proposed a bill. A member of GGB says outing is terrorism but they might be forced to resort to it. 42

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection June 1995 Chris Vogel in Winnipeg wins his 13 year fight for spousal benefits. Manitoba Court of Appeals (highest court in Manitoba) rules the provincial government discriminated against Vogel in denying him spousal benefits. In their written decision the three judges said that the government cannot escape its responsibility by limiting the definition of spouse to heterosexual relationships "The exclusion of homosexual couples from the benefits directed at all heterosexual employees involved in permanent intimate relationships is discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation." Air Canada refuses (50%) discounted compassionate fare (Vancouver-Moncton $2,400 regular) to gay man Brent Lehmann for his spouse Paul Kool to go with him to his mother's deathbed. Canadian Airlines gave him the spousal discount instantly. Federal government drops its appeal of the Nov 93 ruling in Lisa Jeffs UI case which allows people in same-sex couples to move when their lover does without losing their UI. BC human rights minister Ujjal Dosanjh announces Bill 32 to overhaul BC human rights act and replace it with a human rights code; it will include sexual orientation and may include same-sex spousal benefits; bill 51 will replace the old BC adoption act with one that allows common-law couples and unmarried adults to adopt (see feb 95)*; a new HRCommission will replace the old council for human rights and will include a tribunal, advisory council and separate administrative and advisory arms; the commission will be empowered to investigate without a complaint being formally laid. *Reform MP Richard Neufeld: Children are raised much better, their whole outlook on life will be different, if they are raised in a traditional family. Reform party leader Jack Weisgerber says in the event of the death of a lesbian or gay parent, children should be taken away and adopted by a traditional family. June Reform conventions resolves "the traditional family is the basis of society" and defines marriage as "the legal union of two people of the opposite sex." July 1995 Dep't justice serves notice in the federal court of Canada to apply for an order to prohibit the Canadian Human Rights Commission from appointing a tribunal in the case of Nova Scotian Jim Bigney (see jan 95) who alleges discrimination based on sexual orientation, marital and family status with respect to CPP. Justice Dept says Canadian Human Rights Commission exceeds its jurisdiction in referring the complaint to hearing because the Canadian Human Rights Act doesn't cover pension funds or plans established before March 1 1978 when the CPP was amended to include common-law couples. BC human rights council orders Vancouver gynaecologist Gerald Korn (see july 93) to pay $3000 in fines to a couple to whom he refused artificial insemination because they are lesbians.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection July 1995 Brazilian Marco Tarelho wins Canadian residency after a two-year battle (humanitarian and compassionate grounds). A Mississauga immigration. counsellor ruled that separating Tarelho from his lover Blair Boyle would cause undue hardship. Tarelho came to Toronto in 1990 and was living here on a sixmonth renewable student visa. Two male storks in a German zoo have hatched a penguin egg and are now raising the chick. The egg had been rejected by its parents, so zoo staff tried it out on the couple who took turns sitting on it for 14 days until it hatched.

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August 1995 In July 1993 (qv) Vancouver gynaecologist Gerald Korn refused artificial insemination to a couple because they are lesbians. He was fined by the BC human rights council in July 1995. Now after Sandra Benson delivers a daughter Zo (via frozen sperm from the US), she and her lover GP Tracy Potter are following up the case. The HRC and the ornbuds office are looking into the BC College and Physicians and Surgeons which supports Korn. The College sees the protection of doctors as its main function and points out that the Can. Medical Associations code of ethics does not include sexual orientation. August 1995 Bank of Nova Scotia extends SSSBs, according to their memo because of the precedent set by other large companies and trends in law, according to employee Cliff Barton because his Canadian Human Rights Commission complaint against them comes up in Sept. August 1995 London family court judge David Aston rules that adoption applications cannot be refused on the basis of sexuality; Cathy and Lynda Gough adopt each other's daughters (Caitlyn 2, Emily 11 weeks, both conceived by Al from the same donor). Lawyer: Leslie Reaume. Unlike the provincial court decision in May, this decision is precedent setting and binding on all provincial court judges (who decide the bulk of adoption applications in Ontario). August 1995 A heterosexual nuclear family (Valerie and James Simson and son) living in Canada seek refugee status while hoping to be reunited with gay Patrick Bailey living in the US whom they consider their adopted second son and who is legal guardian to their own son. The Simsons met Bailey in England, then moved to Minnesota whither Bailey followed them (winning a green card in a lottery). James Simson was then denied US residency because of drug-related UK convictions, though he has been "clean" for 15 years and ran/runs addiction recovery groups, and was deported to Canada in July. August 1995 Italy: catholic-dominated Verona City Council rejects European Parliament's recent statement condemning discrimination against LGBs and passes a resolution: "Apart from individual moral and religious beliefs, homosexuality contradicts natural law itself ... the application ... among other things would have a negative effect upon the psychological development of young people ... who would see the failing of one of the basic foundations of the family, that is: the

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection stable union of a man and a woman." It calls homosexuality "depraved behaviour" and "an obsessive neurosis similar to alcoholism." August 1995 A Tel Aviv court rules that the Israeli military does not have to pay spousal death benefits to the male lover of a deceased colonel. This conflicts with the supreme court's El Al decision on spousal benefits. August 1995 Denmark, Norway, and Sweden agree each to recognize registered partnerships from the other two countries. This includes us chaps. Sept 1995 Mayors of 6 Paris arondissements pledge to begin offering partnership registration for gay and lesbian couples, although they will not confer the rights of marriage. The mayors, all socialists or members of the leftist Movement of Citizens, say they will issue certificates of cohabitation. Applicants must have lived together for a year. Danish gay pioneer Eigil Axgil, part of the first legally married gay couple in Denmark, dies at age 71. He came out in 1948 and was fired the next day from his accounting job at an auto-body shop. Ontario government withdraws from intervenor status in Rosenberg/CUPE, the challenge to Income Tax Act for discriminating against same-sex couples, having decided that since the case is federal, their presence is not required. Decision made in July when CUPE (whose pension plan has been threatened by RevCan with de-registration) appeared in Ontario court general division, decision not out yet. CUPE has 408,000 members and 560 staff. Ontario court general division judge Louise Charron rejects CUPE's case saying it is indistinguishable from Egan & Nesbit, and supporting that judgment. Parliament votes 124-52 against out gay BQ MP Ral Mnard's private member's motion 264 (see june 95) that "the government should take the measures necessary for the legal recognition of same-sex spouses." Ontario court general division (justice Gloria Epstein) hears MvH, where a lesbian seeks to have the definition of spouse changed in the Ont. Family Law Act so she can have stake in two businesses and two homes owned by her partner of 10 years. The NDP government had intervened in favour; the new PC government intervenes against. Thousands demonstrate in Verona against a city council motion rejecting rights for same sex couples as per European Union fiat and calling homosexuality "depraved behaviour." (see aug 95) Stats Can decides not to include questions about gay/lesbian households in the next census because Canadians would be "alienated." Parti Qubcois, just before the separation vote, announces it will change Qubec human rights legislation to remove restrictions connected to LGB adoption,

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection marriage, and insurance. Justice minister Paul Bgin says hearing will begin in the new year. Oct 1995 Irish supreme court refuses to annul the marriage of a man and woman (with 3 children) who believe each other to be homosexual. Neither presented evidence other than suspicion about "close friendships." Nova Scotia government extends spousal benefits to cover same-sex (including medical, dental, and special-leave) after a joint request from NS government employees union and civil service commission. New Brunswick lieutenant governor Margaret McCain makes a speech recognizing "the emergence of same-sex parented families": "Critics believe the non-traditional unit fosters unhealthy values and morals, threatening everything 'family' stands for" but violence and abuse are the most serious threats to any family and "Research shows that traditional family can be the scene of extreme abuse while a non traditional family can be brimming with love ... " NY appeal court 4-3 strikes down statutory bar on unmarried couples adopting children; appeals court judge Judith Kaye: "to have upheld the law would have maintained the situation in which the thousands of children that are currently being brought up by unmarried couples have only one legal parent." Opposing the ruling AC judge Joseph Bellicosa felt the state and not the courts should be making this change and that it would lead to too many conflicts between biological parents and adopting couples. Republican governor of NY George Papaki: "a defeat for Western civilisation." City of Antwerp announces they will open a partnership registry as of Jan 1 1996 for same- and opposite-sex couples. The aim is to push the federal government to adopt a registered partnership law at the national level. The cities of Ghent, Oostende, and Mechelenb are also considering proposals. Children's Aid Society of Algoma Ont. refuses to allow lesbian or gay singles or couples to foster. Board member Mary Borowicz: "Children develop morals and values based on what they see." Toronto CAS does; most other Ontario CASs have no official policy. Federal Treasury Board announces some same-sex spousal benefits now available to federal government employees: including family-responsibilities, bereavement, and spousal relocation leave, but not dental, medical, survivor. It doesn't extend to RCMP, armed forces, or employees of crown corps. See the case Moore/Akerstrom, currently before the Canadian Human Rights Commission, resolved June 1996. CP also Lebeau, Bigney (both jan 95) Chuck Schouwerwou and Bill Shannon marriage case put on hold before it reaches Ontario Court of Appeal. S&S had joined Beaulne and Layland's suit in 1993

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Dec 1995 Qubec government introduces bill 133 on spousal rights. Confusion reigns. Parti Qubcois officials imply they had promised to repeal the section of the Qubec Charter that prohibits spousal benefits, but gay activists say the amendments a) don't define same-sex spouse and b) apply only to private pension plans. Bill 133 provisions conflict with pension-plan rules in the Income Tax Act, so that 30% of Qubec's pension plans would become taxable income. There are some suspicions that the PQ hope for anti-federalist implications from the proposed clash between their provincial human rights law and the ITA. If the federal government were to rule that Qubec, as a distinct society, could have taxexempt same-sex pension plans, same-sex couples everywhere else could file Charter challenges. U of Lethbridge prof Reginald Bibby issues report showing Canadian support for equal rights for LGBs at 67% (80% in 1990). In 1975 28% overall and in 1995 48% overall (55% in BC and Qubec, 39% in Atlantic Canada, 37% in the Prairies) said homosexuality was "not wrong at all." Bibby finds AIDS in 7th place in the 10 top social concerns (after the national debt, the economy, government incompetence, child abuse etc but before women's equality and racial discrimination). 9-33% (according to minority) think minorities have too much power (9% specifying blacks, 14% Jews, 16% Asians, 18%East Indians, 33% native Canadians). Two lesbian activists, Michelle Abdill (42) and Roxanne Ellis (54), lovers for 12 years, found tied up and shot to death in Medford, Oregon. Last year Medford defeated two antigay initiatives. Robert Acrement (27) arrested on suspicion. The New York Times changes its policy about using "lover" after a challenge from Robert Woodworth, deputy director of the city's LGServices Centre, placed a notice in memory of his lover Noli Vilanueva who died Dec 7. Despite protests, the NYT changed the word to "life partner." Complaint resulted in repeat notice Dec 12 with correct wording. The Children's Society, one of the 5 biggest children's charities in England, bans lesbian and gay foster parents. Australia: Jeff Shaw, attorney general of New South Wales, says he will present the state cabinet with a series of legal reforms to recognize same-sex couples, likely a domestic-relations act. (see apr 95) German green party introduces legislation to legalize gay marriage. US house of representatives votes to repeal a local district of Columbia law allowing hospital visitation rights and equal access to health benefits for two people living together as a family for more than six months.

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Dec 27-Jan 2 First ILGA European Conference in East Europe sees about 50 activists gathered in Riga, Latvia. Last fall, a survey found 25% of Latvians in favour of same-sex marriage, 45% against. 47

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Jan 1996 Walt Disney Co., and pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Wellcome extend spousal health benefits to employees in same-sex relationships. Traditional Values Coalition leader Rev. Lou Sheldon calls for Christians to boycott Disney since it has become a "secular, anti-family corporation." Vatican issues new 60-page sex education handbook (published by Pontifical Council for the Family) banning safer sex, insisting on abstinence, calling masturbation a "grave disorder," and warning against homosexuality. Mothers should encourage femininity and maternity in their daughters. Fathers should conduct themselves with virile dignity but without machismo. UK: a legal first: Scots lesbian Vicki McLean, 28, who stabbed to death the man (Stephen Blackwell, 40) with whom her lover was having an affair receives a reduced sentence (8 years) due to "provocation." Previously the defence was only open to men who caught their wives in flagrante and killed the other man on the spot. Antwerp, Belgium: city opens a register for same-sex domestic partnerships (announced nov.95 qv).

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Jan/Feb 1996 Australia: accepting a battered-wife-syndrome defence, West Oz supreme court judge Terry Walsh accepts a reduced plea in the case of Robert Vaughan McEwen charged with stabbing to death his lover Thomas Hodgson Feb 1996 Ontario court general division judge Gloria Epstein rules that the Ontario family law act is unconstitutional "and of no force or effect to the extent that it excludes same-sex couples from its definition of spouse" in the alimony case of 10-year lovers MvH (see apr 93). Support obligations kick in after three years' cohabitation or "some permanence" or children, natural or adopted. At a hearing last Sept the Ont. government conceded that it was discrimination but used the Charter 1 "demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society." Judge Epstein cited the reversal of position of the Ontario government (NDP had intervened on side of M, Tories ditto H) as evidence that politics and not legislative reform was their motive and said that the defeat of bill 167 did not provide clear legislative intent because of legislators' concerns about the pending election. She cited supreme court judge Iacobucci that to assume no interdependency in same-sex relationships "is not only incorrect but it is also the fruit of stigmatizing stereotype." She found that the legislation was intended to provide spousal support for those who had become economically dependant during the course of a relationship and now needed help to become independent and it was discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation to exclude same-sex couples. She noted that same-sex couples had been included in other Ontario legislation including life insurance, extended medical coverage, dental insurance and bereavement leave and saw no valid reason for not extending the support provisions of the family law act. Support obligations kick in after 3 years relationship or "some permanence" and children. (See also july 96). 48

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Feb 1996 Feb 1996 US: Mary Ward, a lesbian who lost custody of her daughter to her ex-husband, a convicted murderer, lodges appeal. (see sept 95). South African Anglican bishop Desmond Tutu publicly supports the ordination of sexually active gays on the same terms as sexually active straights - monogamous couple relationships. "I am opposed to injustice and I know where my Lord would stand." Now that treasury board has granted SSSBs to federal employees, the federal government settles out of court ($500 for "hurt feelings" and "moral prejudice") in 9 of 13 same-sex spousal benefits cases before the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Public Service Staff Relations Board, in finding for agriculture department employee Stephen Yarrow (denied bereavement leave in 1992) rules that spouse" in the collective agreement cannot be restricted to opposite-sex relationships. The Central Conference of American Rabbis, representing 1750 reform rabbis, votes to support civil marriage for same-sex couples and to oppose governmental efforts to bar such unions. They avoided the questions of rabbinical officiation at such ceremonies. Colombia supreme court rules against marriage rights for same-sex couples. "The family is the only social unit and it is formed when a man and a woman freely decide to get married." Hearings open in Qubec on bill 133 (see dec 95). Retiring from the Metro Toronto police force after 27 years, David Blaire successfully files for same-sex spousal benefits. SSSBs have been available since 1992, but Blaire, expecting resistance, was armed with a lawyer in case. Jeff Schofield, labour relations unit, MTPF, says he has had few enquiries and knows of only one other instance where the benefits have been claimed (1994, woman claimed hospital expenses for partner having a baby). John Wright, senior vice-president of Angus Reid polls said 81% of Canadians support ending all forms of workplace discrimination against LGBs and almost 60% consistently support same-sex benefits and registered domestic partnerships, though the acceptance of adoption is lower. Anglican Church of Canada offers same-sex spousal benefits to employees, although they point out there is no change in church doctrine: the church does not recognize same-sex marriages or same-sex common-law relationships. Director of the church's pension plan Jenny Mason says "It's what is happening to all employers. Why wait until someone takes you to the Human Rights Commission?" The church's health plan covers employees of dioceses and churchsponsored social agencies, but dioceses can opt out of the extended benefits plan.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection March 1996 David Harrad (38), British lover of Brazilian gay leader Toni Reis (32), deported after his visa expired and authorities refused to accept his "marriage-like relationship" (lovers for 6 years, the last 4 spent in Brazil) He can get a new visa and return. Eventually, Reis' mother (65) offers to marry him. After extensive publicity about Harrad, the bill proposed by Brazilian federal deputy Martha Suplicy (workers' party) to legalize a contract of civil union between same-sex couples (see june, nov 95) is referred to a special parliamentary commission. The bill must be approved by four parliamentary commissions then voted on by congress. Large cities such as Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador have ordinances prohibiting anti-LGB discrimination. An "evangelical block" of 28 deputies and 5 senators is against. San Francisco mayor Willie Brown Jr. "marries" near 200 same-sex couples despite the lack of same-sex partnership provision in any US state. Comments should be in by March 31 on a consultative paper (on criminalizing discrimination against LGBs) before the legislative council of Hong Kong. In 1991, Hong Kong decriminalised homosexual acts between consenting men over 21 in private (see apr, july 1991). In late 93 legislative counsellor Anna Wu introduced a draft equal opportunities bill that would have included "sexuality." Bill then split into different parts. June 1995, sex discrimination ordinance and disability ditto enacted. July 1995, study on sexual orientation and family status begun. French government refuses permission for Swedish gay couples to take honeymoon trips to Paris and be wed in the Swedish consulate there. United Church of Australia , the country's 3rd largest Christian denomination, supports same-sex marriages and ordination of out LGBs. Britain's minister of housing okays joint tenancy for same-sex couples equal to that of married couples; this assures continued residency if one partner dies. Lutheran Church of Hamburg blesses its first gay couple. French national railway now gives gay couples who live together the same 25% discount that straight c-w-l-t get as long as they have domestic-partnership certificates from their city hall. Only 270 of France's 36,000 municipalities actually provide these to same-sex couples, but 8 of Frances 58 million citizens live in those municipalities. New Zealand: ministry of education refuses to a gay male couple an allowance regularly given to heterosexual couples. Alaska passes a house bill 226 to end medical benefits for unmarried couples, allowing discrimination based on marital status for health benefits only; also approves senate bill 308 to outlaw same-sex marriages in Alaska and deny recognition to same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. 50

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Arizona replaces an anti-marriage amendment with one asserting "strong family values." Delaware: introduces measure to outlaw same-sex marriages and deny recognition to same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Georgia passes a bill to outlaw same-sex marriage, like the 1996 bills in Utah and Idaho and the 1995 bill in South Dakota. Kentucky activists get antimarriage amendment withdrawn from an unrelated bill. Massachusetts: Love Makes a Family (photographer Gigi Kaeser) a gay-family photo exhibit runs into 4 months of controversy; some school superintendents hope to show it only in libraries and not in hallways April 1996 Los Angeles superior court judge Martha Goldin awards custody of mildly retarded 8-year-old girl Courtney Thomas to Kevin Thomas a single gay man not biologically related who has raised her since birth and restricts the mother's visitation rights to one phone call a week. (See june 1993) Nantucket Mass approves domestic partner legislation for same- and opposite-sex couples. Virginia: Henrico County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court rules that, in spite of Sharon Bottoms changed circumstances, custody stays with her son's grandmother. Sept 93: Custody of Tyler Doustou (born 1992) sought and obtained in HC J&DR DC by his grandmother Kay Bottoms on the grounds that his mother Sharon Bottoms is a lesbian. June 94: Virginia appeals court returns custody of Tyler to his mum Sharon. May 95: Virginia supreme court reverses the appellate court decision and gives Tyler back to Grandmama Kay. Netherlands: lower chamber of Dutch parliament passes 81-60 resolution demanding the preparation of a bill for legal recognition of same-sex marriages; a separate resolution demands a bill permitting adoption by same sex couples. BC supreme court rules that a doctor's right to refuse patients cannot be based on discrimination as defined in BC's human rights legislation. Dr Gerald Korn loses his appeal of the 1995 Human Rights Council decision which fined him $3400 ($2500 for emotional injury, $896 expenses) for refusing artificial insemination to two lesbians. (see jul 93, jul & aug 1995). CP 1993 Royal Commission on NRTs recommendation: "Women should be guaranteed access to donor insemination services regardless of sexual orientation." Finland: minister groups of 4 of the 5 parties (the Social Democrats, Left Alliance, Greens, Swedish National Party, but not the National Coalition) in the Finnish cabinet say they favour a Scandinavian-style registered partnership law for samesex couples (viz. the whole package excluding AI, adoption, and in vitro fertilization).

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection April 1996 Small demo in support of David McKinstry's struggle with the Toronto Dominion Bank for refusing to honour their mortgage insurance agreement on Woodhaven Bed and Breakfast with McKinstry's late lover and co-owner Nick DiCicco. Bank says DiCicco lied about his health; McKinstry says DiCicco was never asked about his health. England: British rail employee Lisa Grant sues South West Trains for free travel for her partner Jill Percey; case is referred to the European court of justice. Switzerland: national council votes 68-61 to order the government to provide a same-sex domestic partnership law; should come to a vote within two years. Italy: city of Pisa provides same-sex domestic partnership registration but not entirely clear what is covered by it. Spain: Catalonia superior justice tribunal in Barcelona rules a Colombian gay man whose lover is Spanish has the right to seek residency in Spain. Sweden: Housing Committee of national parliament orders federal government to draft a bill extending housing allowances to same-sex couples. South Australia's upper house approves a measure to recognize same-sex domestic partnerships. South African Airways extends spousal discounts to unmarried straight and gay couples. Canada adds protection on the basis of sexual orientation to the Canadian Human Rights Act. Advocate publishes result of assorted polls. How Americans feel about same sex marriage: 68% opposed, 27% in favour, 5% don't know (Gallup poll). The average American male has sex with 5-10 partners in his lifetime, spends 44 minutes each day arranging his hair and clothes (Men's Health mag). Cineplex Odeon drops "of the opposite" in the definition of partners eligible for employee family benefits. Result of Ontario Human Rights Commission intervention following employee complaint and campaign by employees group GLECO. Three lesbian couples in New Zealand lose case demanding marriage licences.; NZ's 1955 marriage act does not specify spouse must be of opposite sexes; national law bans discrimination on the basis of s.o. Judge denied case, saying matter up to national parliament. US president Bill Clinton says he opposes recognizing same-sex marriages. Hungary (207-73, following a March 1995 court decision) gives same-sex common-law couples the same status as heterosexuals couples, except for adoption, while declaring that marriage is an exclusively heterosexual institution.

Early 1996 Early 1996 Early 1996 Early 1996 Early 1996 Early 1996 Early 1996 May 1996 May 1996

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection May 1996 June 1996 Green MP Renee Wagener introduces bill in Luxembourg parliament to give legal status to gay marriage. After the Canadian Human Rights Act is changed, Stan Moore wins spousal Canadian Human Rights Commission complaint against his employer, the federal government. Federal government and federally regulated companies must now offer same-sex spousal benefits to all its employees (medical and dental mentioned specifically; pensions not mentioned because some doubt about the Canadian Human Rights Commission's jurisdiction over). Treasury board and two other departments were ordered to produce, within 60 days, a list of all federal laws, regulations, and directives which establish discriminatory benefits and to make proposals to eliminate the discrimination. The ruling emphasized that, apart from their gender, Moore and Soucy were a traditional family and upheld traditional family values. Ken Campbell issues press releases saying the decision was biased because one man on the tribunal is gay (chair Keith Norton). Other two members: Janet Ellis, Grant Sinclair. The ruling does not cover federally regulated businesses. Relocated by the Dept. Foreign Affairs to Jakarta, Moore was given funds for taking his cat with him (medical exam, moving costs, kennel accommodation) but nothing for his lover Pierre Soucy. The dept. said they acknowledge the bonding that takes place between owner and pet but not man and male spouse. The Canadian Human Rights Commission combined Moore's case and that of Dale Akerstrom of Vancouver (an immigration employee who was denied family health benefits for his partner Alexander Diaz) as a test case for the 100+ same-sex spousal cases before them. A director of the public service health and dental plans estimates SSSBs adding about 0.05% to total plan costs (viz. $1.8-3.7 million) and that 1-2% of employees will apply. This seems high in the light of everyone else's experience. June 1996 Fox Inc. grants same-sex spousal benefits to employees, although owner Rupert Murdoch still feels that gays are "people who define themselves by the kind of leather they wear - while doing things that can't be described in a family newspaper." Latest draft of Finland's new constitution includes ban on discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation (already in criminal code). A majority of parties in the cabinet have stated that they favour a domestic partnership arrangement for same-sex couples (bill submitted to parliament may 96). BC proclaims amendments to its adoption bill which will come into effect in November: gay and lesbian couples will be able to adopt. Angus Reid poll: 55% of Canadians are in favour of same-sex spousal benefits. Iowa's bill to ban same-sex marriage passes the house of representatives but dies in the state's judiciary committee. 53

June 1996

June 1996 June 1996 June 1996

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection July 1996 Iceland provides a registered domestic-partnership options for same-sex couples all the rights and responsibilities including joint custody of each other's children but excluding church weddings, adoption, AI, in-vitro fertilization. Taiwan's first gay-themed radio show begins. It plans to broadcast a live gay marriage ceremony (Nov 8) between writer Hsu Yo-Shen and his American lover (Chinese name Ka Jui); the couple will ask Taipei mayor Chen Shui-bian to officiate but this does not give legal recognition. June saw publication of Taiwan's first gay magazine. Federal government accepts Canadian Human Rights Commission instructions (Moore/Akerstrom, June 96) to provide SSSBs to public servants but challenges the instruction to review all federal laws, regulations, policies that deny benefits to same-sex couples. Government expects cost of SSSBs to be about $1.85 million a year. The government wants to pay back benefits to Moore not to July 1991 when he was posted to Jakarta, but only to 1992 when the Ont. Court of appeal ruled that the Canadian Human Rights Act covers sexual orientation. Newly elected Australian government promptly breaks its election promise to leave immigration law intact and announces changes without parliamentary approval from preferential-family immigration to skilled-migrant selection. Extent of changes not yet known. Only Australian citizens (and no longer permanent residents and eligible NZers) will be able to nominate non-Australians on the grounds of a relationship. Non Australians applying on the basis of a relationship will only receive a 2-year provisional visa and have to apply for permanent residence after that, proving continuous cohabitation. Non Australians rarely get visas for more than two years, so those starting a relationship after they arrive, won't be able to stay. Australians will only be able to sponsor two people on the basis of a relationship, the 2nd not less than 5 years after the 1st. Further to her Feb 96 decision in MvH Ontario court gen div judge Epstein orders the government to pay part of the plaintiff's legal costs; the final total of how much H should pay M is left to an assessment process.

July 1996

July 1996

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August 1996 Calling lesbianism a sexual "habit" and a "sickness" Turkey's supreme court rules that lesbian mothers threaten the moral welfare of their children and strikes down a lower-court ruling granting a lesbian custody of her 2-year-old daughter. August 1996 MvH appeal hearing begins (see feb, july 96, apr 93). Sept 1996 Toronto radio station CFRB with Angus Reid conducted a random survey of 400 Toronto residents and found that 63% would attend a gay wedding if invited; 35% said they wouldn't; 2% didn't know. Support was higher among women. 56% were opposed to adoption of children by 1/g couples; disapproval being highest among older men of lower educational levels. Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rules in case of Air Canada employee Niels Lassoe that federally regulated companies can deny same-sex spousal benefits. 54

Sept 1996

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Lassoe's complaint, filed June 1993, was for all benefits. In Oct 95 CA extended spousal benefits to LGB employees except for pension and survivor benefits which are regulated by the ITA. Canadian Human Rights Commission will ask federal court to review a human rights tribunal ruling. Sept 1996 Sept 1996 Via Rail extends same-sex spousal benefits to unionized and non-unionized employees, although pension plans only apply to opposite-sex couples. Chrysler (renegotiating its contract CAW (Canadian Auto Workers), its union) holds out against same-sex spousal benefits; a CHR case in progress. Chrysler Corp in the US recently refused to add sexual orientation to its antidiscrimination policy and SSSBs not in the US contract USA: defence of marriage bill (passed congress 342 to 67) now passes senate and is signed by Clinton. It does not ban the legalizing of gay marriage in Hawaii, but it gives other states the right not to recognize Hawaiian same-sex marriages (contrary to the constitutional guarantee that states give "full faith and credit" to the "public acts, records, and judicial proceedings" of other states) and gay couples married in Hawaii will still be regarded single by the federal government for the purposes of tax, social security, pensions. Several states have passed similar bills ( the one in California was mitigated by adding a domestic-partnership arrangement that grants health insurance etc to all domestic partners, gay and straight - the governor is therefore expected to veto the bill). West Hollywood city councils adopts a domestic partnership ordinance which also recognizes domestic partnerships from other cities such as Berkeley, SF, Laguna Beach CA, Carrboro NC, Ithaca, Rochester, New York City, Madison Wis., New Orleans, Minneapolis, Austin TX. Under the West Hollywood ordinance, passed 11 years ago, over 750 couples have registered about 85% gay. Oct 1996 Chrtien, talking to Manitoba highschool students, says marriage is traditionally heterosexual and he is not personally comfortable with the idea of gay marriage because he doesn't know "how that works in a society." He says he is proud of the addition of "sexual orientation" to the Canadian Human Rights Act. On application from an employee, the National Ballet of Canada extends spousal rights to employees in same-sex relationships. Oberverwaltungsgericht (OVG), the German high administrative court recognizes a gay binational couple (German/Romanian) for immigration purposes, granting the Romanian a residence permit so that the two can continue to live together. According to the OVG, requirements in such a case include: serious intent; cohabitation rooted in Germany; German partner must demonstrate they have the means for this; non-German should have access to sufficient space in the German partner's home. Ontario Human Rights Commission tribunal (in the joined cases of Metro Toronto employees Sims 1991 & Dwyer, 1986) releases an 86-page decision changing the 55

Sept 1996

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection definition of "spouse" in Ontario's Municipal Act and ruling that the 815 municipal governments in Ontario must provide same-sex spousal benefits to employees. The adjudicator also rules that the opposite-sex definition of "spouse" in the Pension Benefits Act contravenes the Ontario Human Rights Commission but won't change it since the provincial pension plan would then be deregistered by Rev Can. The supreme court ruled in Egan/Nesbit that old age security spousal payments are only for heterosexuals, but this decision defines pensions as a form of deferred earning owed to the employee upon retirement rather than a social benefit conferred by the state. Oct 1996 CAW (Canadian Auto Workers) negotiate same-sex spousal benefits (excluding pensions) into General Motors' new contract. CAW demanding SSSBs from Ford, which is facing a Nov 6 strike deadline. Since their first SSSBs, negotiated in 1994 for the workers who make Geo Tracker and Metro cars in Ingersoll, Ont., CAW has negotiated SSSBs in 30 collective agreements. BC: adoption ruling comes into effect - single or coupled, gays have the same rights as straights. Hawaii circuit court judge Kevin Chang rules in favour of legal recognition of same-sex marriages. Lawyer Dan Foley first filed suit 1990 on behalf of three couples (two gay male, one lesbian -Nina Baehr & Genora Dancel, both 36). 1993 Hawaii supreme court instructed state lawyers to show a compelling reason against same-sex marriages. The USA defence of marriage bill (sept 96) gives other states the right not to recognize Hawaiian same-sex marriages. Some 15 US states have legislated not to recognize same-sex marriages valid in other states, thus debarring eg family leave to take care of a sick partner, hospital visitation rights, joint insurance. 17 states, including CA, have voted against such bills. In sentencing Darren Robert Semon, 32, (to 15 months' jail, to be served in the community under various provisions) for stealing $110,000 from an oil company social club, Calgary judge uses as a mitigating factor the "battered wife syndrome." Semon needed the money to pay off an 1993 ex, Ricky Dennis (37) from Houston, who was blackmailing him with the threat of outing him. Two of three judges (David Doherty and Louise Charron) in the Ontario court of appeal rule to uphold the judgement in MvH; the words "a man and a woman" in the definition of spouse in the alimony section of the Family Law Act are replaced with the words "two persons." The change will come into effect in December 1997. CAW local 306 at Molson's Barrie plant ratify a three-year contract including same-sex spousal benefits (except pensions). A Moroccan man wins the right to stay in Britain based on his 13 year relationship with a British national. Global IBM extends full same-sex spousal benefits to its 335,000 employees. 56

Nov 1996 Dec 1996

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Dec 1996 Late 1996 Late 1996

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Late 1996 Late 1996 Late 1996 Late 1996 End 1996 Belgium: common-law same-sex couples now eligible for the same unemployment benefits as heterosexual couples. Denver CO City Council gives SSSBs. German Green Party introduces a bill to ban discrimination on the basis of s.o. and to give legal recognition to same-sex couples. Mississippi bans same-sex marriages; Pennsylvania become the 17th US state to ban same-sex marriages. Australia: New South Wales supreme court rules that the anti-discrimination act's provisions covering lgbs apply to same-sex family units and therefore two gay men (Bill Brown, Andrew-Whitbread-Brown) and their son are entitled to insurance company's family rate (NIB, the insurance company, had appealed an equal opportunity tribunal ruling). Australian government announces intent to slash number of interdependency visas issued each year by 50% to only 200 visas this year; immigration will be cut overall by 20% and the number of visas for spouses and unmarried opposite-sex de facto spouses will be increased. Same-sex couples were recognized only in 1988. Six months after becoming the 4th nation to legalize domestic-partnership registry (oct 96), Iceland votes to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. 17 couples have registered partnerships in the meantime. After appeal of a 1995 judgement, Tel Aviv court orders Israel Defence Force to provided survivor benefits to Adir Steiner, 30-year-old media consultant, samesex spouse of a IDF career officer Col Doron Maisel (died of cancer 1991). Finland: parliament law committee begins study on a registered partnership measure, likely resembling those in Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden. Toronto Anglican diocese extends same-sex spousal benefits to lay employees (see sep 93, may 94). San Francisco had enacted a city contract compliance bylaw saying employers doing business with the city must offer same-sex spousal benefits. The Chamber of Commerce, United Airlines, and the Catholic Archdiocese object. United Airlines has over 8000 employees in SF and 86,000 worldwide; unions lobbied for SSSBs. They caved in early Feb. The Catholic AD got round it by allowing all employs to designate a spouse or anyone else in the household as a "spousal equivalent" but it still doesn't recognize SF's domestic partner registry. Reversing a decision of its committee on legal affairs and citizens' rights, European Parliament adopts draft legislation guaranteeing equal treatment to lgbs employed by European Union institutions, adds a nondiscrimination clause to EU staff regulations, and creates a partnership registry for purposes of extending

Early 1997

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection spousal benefits, among other things. Awaits approval from the Council of the EU. March 1997 March 1997 Toronto Transit commission extends same-sex spousal benefits. Metro Toronto council delays to March 28 the final vote on whether to appeal (jointly with the Ont. Government.) the Dwyer/Sims ruling then votes 23-3 (8 absent) to discontinue the appeal. The Ont. Government continues its appeal. Since Denmark passed its registered partnership law in 1989, 634 lesbian and 1149 gay male couples have married; 23% of the lesbians and 14% of the gay male couples subsequently divorced. Poland votes 57% for a new constitution which defines marriage as heterosexual but doesn't preclude a registered partnership for same-sex couples. The antidiscrimination provision is a general one and does not mention any grounds. Washington governor Gary Locke vetoes bill banning same-sex marriages or the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states saying that he opposes "any measure that would divide, disrespect, or diminish our humanity." He feels that prohibiting recognitions of marriages legally performed in other states violates the US constitution. Vietnam's first gay wedding (Ho Chi Minh City: Australian/Vietnamese) sparks furor. Police official: "If we'd known about it, we would have stopped it, but we can't fine them because we don't have any laws to punish them." Ottawa Civic Hospital fertility clinic changes its policy and agrees to provide AI to women without male partners as a result of an Ontario Human Rights Commission complaint lodged by Lise Lague and her partner Pam Lengyel in 1994. OC Transpo, an Ottawa/Kanata-based bus service, extends same-sex spousal benefits to its employees; the issue was raised with them by out gay regional councillor Alex Munter. Although 20 of the 23 parents (3 being absent) of the children in his classroom said Surrey teacher James Chamberlain could uses Asha's Mums, Belinda's Bouquet, and One Dad, Two Dads in his class, the Surrey board of ed chair and trustees say that parents object and have voted 4-3 to ban their use. Motion to ban introduced by board chair Robert Pickering: "I do believe that if parents want to teach their children that homosexuality is not a healthy choice, then they have that right to in this country - at least for now." BC Teachers Federation had passed a resolution in March "to create a program to eliminate homophobia and heterosexism in the BC public school system." The Surrey school board opposed this and has tried to limit attendance at meetings where this is discussed. The teachers' federation hired an independent polling company and determined that almost 70% believe schools should promote acceptance of lesbians, gays, and

Early 1997

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection bisexuals. GALE-BC ask the BC supreme court to decide whether the ban on books violates the provincial human rights act. May 1997 Argentina: judge rules that same-sex couples can claim cohabitation certificates on the same basis as opposite-sex couples. Labour leader Rafael Freda and his partner Eduardo Vzquez had applied for medical coverage under the national security system, case backed by Freda's teachers' union. In a separate case following the same principles, a judge rules that a gay man can claim his partner's pension rights on the same basis as a heterosexual widow(er). Spanish congress passes first reading of domestic partnership bill (same- and opposite-sex partners) including retirement, social security, and labour rights, but no adoption or immigration. Madrid, Spain: social security agrees to insure a gay man's lover; a lesbian employee of the Autonomous Government receives 15 days honeymoon leave. Federal Liberal government appeals the Canadian Human Rights Commission tribunal in Moore/Akerstrom (see june, july 96). Supreme court of Canada agrees to hear Ontario government appeal of the MvH decision (feb, july, aug, dec 96, apr 93, dec 96). Ontario government lawyer says that changing the definition of spouse would "undermine Ontario's integrated system of spousal rights and obligations and will result in confusion and unfairness in the operation of provincial law." M is apparently asking for $5000 a month. Ontario human rights tribunal rules Ontario government must allow same-sex couples to adopt the same last name by declaring a conjugal relationship under the Change of Name Act 3 (which is free) rather than under 4 for unrelated people ($137). Struggle begun in 1990 on part of Michelle and Bonnie CrawfordBewley. US federal appeals court (11th circuit) rules 8-4 that Georgia's attorney general Mike Bowers was entitled to deny a lesbian Robin Shahar a job because she was planning to be married to another woman: "Given the culture and traditions of the nation, considerable doubt exists that plaintiff has a constitutionally protected right to be 'married' to another woman." The appeals court felt he was entitled to believe that this might confuse the public because Bowers had successfully defended the state's anti-sodomy law before the US supreme court in 1986. Public Service Staff Relations Board tribunal orders federal government to extend marriage leave to Ross Boutilier of Halifax on the basis of his union ceremony with his same-sex spouse. Kingston City Council extends same-sex spousal benefits to city employees. Ontario Human Rights Commission releases report citing 65 Ontario laws that need to be changed immediately to end discrimination against same-sex spouses. 59

May 1997

May 1997 May 1997 May 1997

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May 97

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June 1997 June 1997

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection June 1997 BC tables legislation to recognize same-sex couples regarding child custody, maintenance, and access, changing the definition of "spouse" in the BC Family Relations Act, and affecting some 500 statutes. Vancouver Island: two lesbians manage to get married in Canada because one is a pre-operative male-to-female transsexual (George-Georgina Scott, 46, and Linda Fraser). Netherlands: lower chamber of Dutch parliament passes 81-60 resolution demanding the preparation of a bill for legal recognition of same-sex marriages; a separate resolution demands a bill permitting adoption by same sex couples. BC passes legislation (59-9, 6 abstentions, of 75 MLAs) changing definition of spouse in Family Relations Act and giving common-law same-sex the same status (rights and responsibilities) as opposite-sex ones. Spouse is defined as a person who ... lived with another person in a marriage-like relationship for a period of at least two years" and specifies "the marriage-like relationship may be between persons of the same gender." 8 of the 9 who voted against were Liberals (party leader Gordon Campbell allowed a free vote); the 9th was Progressive Democratic Alliance leader Gordon Wilson). The Family Maintenance Enforcement Amendment Act still awaits a vote. Neither bill affects workplace issues such as spousal benefits. BC arbitrator rules that the BC government should not have denied parental leave to a lesbian whose partner had just had a baby (the government said she was not an adoptive or a biological parent and thus not related). The bill passed 2nd reading 58-10. Margaret Buist is denied (sole or joint) custody of Simon (4), biological child of her ex, Lorraine Greaves, though the pregnancy and artificial insemination of Greaves (Simon born Dec 92) was jointly planned; they lived together 1988 95. Greaves was planning to move to BC; Buist sought an order under the Children's Law Reform Act that she be declared a mother of Simon. Madam Justice Mary Lou Benotto rules that "a female person is the mother of a child" means a child has only one mother. Buist has to pay $450 a month child support. A memo is leaked from Alberta's family and social service department : "It is the position of the Director of Child Welfare that, if a child is under temporary or permanent guardianship, the Director will not place a child in a family living in a non-traditional arrangement or with a single person when it is known within the community that they are a practising gay or lesbian." This follows the news that a lesbian foster mother who has cared for 74 children over 18 years (known in the press as "Ms T") has been officially informed by the department that they no longer consider her fit to care for children, although she may keep the children she currently has. Ms T was visited in 1996 by an inspector who went round all the rooms of the house to determine who slept in which bed.

June 1997

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection July 1997 Pisa (Italy) approves a register of civil union including same-sex couples. They then offer low-interest mortgages to couples under 35 buying their first house regardless of gender/sexual orientation provided their is a "sentimental relationship." Peel Board of Education directs administration to process employee requests for same-sex spousal benefits. American woman living in Toronto with Canadian lover has child which is then legally adopted by the Canadian partner. The US consulate then refuses to register the child as an American citizen because the woman cannot fill out the slot for "father" on the requisite form. Rather than fight, the woman retracts the registration. UK new Labour government announces it will introduce legislation to allow same-sex spousal immigration for those in bona fide longterm relationships, providing same- and opposite sex common-law relationships on the same footing. It will also introduce a free vote on whether to lower the age of consent for gay men from 18 to 16, like everyone else. Belgian interior minister Lanotte implements a progressive new policy permitting unmarried partners to reside in Belgium in the basis of their relationship: "in our society, discrimination against homosexual partners is unacceptable." Regulations apply to partners of those (including Belgian and EU nationals) who have the right to reside in Belgium for more than 3 months, but not the partners of those seeking asylum. Partner must then cohabit, sharing a joint household, having a contract for the sponsoring partner etc. In a preliminary ruling, the Advocate General of the EU Court of Justice directs the railways to give gay the same free travel privileges as heterosexual employees; two lesbians complained and management said they weren't discriminating because they wouldn't let gay male spouses have travel passes either. Lawyer for the couple was Cherie Booth, wife of PM Tony Blair, whose Labour government opposed the case. (see early 96: British rail employee Lisa Grant sues South West Trains). If upheld by the full court later this year, this decision will be binding on the 15-nation EU.

Summer 97 Fall 1997

Fall 1997

Fall 1997

Sept 1997

August 1997 Gay New Yorker Elmy Martinez, who has adopted 5 boys since 1985 and founded the Adoption Resource Exchange for Single Parents, receives Adoption Activist award from North American Council on Adoptable Children for helping single parents adopt. Sept 1997 The gay-oriented Texas Guardian organizes a "Two Moms - Two Dads" gay family day at the Six Flags amusement park to protest the Southern Baptist Convention's Disney boycott. The SBs were founded because they were certain God supported slavery; they went on to oppose votes for women (certain to destroy the family), integration of blacks and whites, women's reproductive rights; they did however support the Vietnam war ... 61

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Sept 1997 Netherlands supreme court refuses to allow a lesbian couple (Van Ijzendoor and Louman) to adopt each other's children (conceived by AI). Appeal planned to European court of human rights (Strasbourg). In a memo, Canada's treasury board instructs federal government to ignore the words "of the opposite sex" when interpreting the definition "common-law spouse." UK announces unmarried partners (gay or straight) to be allowed to immigrate. After a July 97 complaint to the SA HRC by three single women, South African minister of health Dr Nkosazana announces new regulations under the Human Tissue Act so that unmarried women will have access to donor insemination (previously the written consent of a husband was required). Justice Douglas Coo of the Ontario Court General Division rules that the insurance act discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation because of its opposite-sex definition of spouse (224(l)). Robin Black and Kelly Kane (now 36) were lovers for 7 years. In Oct 1993, Robin (33) was knocked off her bicycle by a truck and killed. Robin's family of origin sued the driver & company and settled out of court; because gay, Kelly could not do this, nor could she claim the $25,000 no-fault benefits automatically paid by the insurance co. (Axa Insurance of Toronto) to the surviving heterosexual spouse of an accident victim. Kelly launched two court actions, based around the definition of spouse in the Family Law Act and the Insurance Act. Coo: "Exclusion of same-sex relationships added nothing meaningful to the scheme, except discrimination based on sexual orientation ... The denial ... runs against the preservation of human dignity and self-worth for part of our society." Kane gets the benefit; the province must change the act (for the purpose of auto insurance death benefits) to read "'spouse' means either of two persons." Provincial government appeals; decision is pending the final result of MvH but the provincial government will not guarantee to withdraw the appeal even if MvH gives same-sex couples equal rights in Ontario. Rosenberg/CUPE (see sept 95) reaches the Ontario court of appeals. Right-wing MP Tom "I see no difference between two gay men and a brother and a sister madly in love and living in incest" Wappel introduces private member's bill for a defence of marriage act. North West Territories votes 10-5 (9 absent) against an amendment which would have allowed same-sex couples to claim survivor benefits or support after separating. Chris Vogel's case, filed 1982, is finally resolved by the Manitoba Human Rights Commission: the Manitoba government will now provide same-sex spousal benefits to employees. Manitoba labour minister Harold Gillshammer: "We don't like it, but we'll abide by the ruling."

Sept 1997

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Nov 1997 Nov 1997 Ontario court justice Jean MacFarlane and partner Lisa Case run an ad in The Globe and Mail announcing the birth of their son. Mexican Manuel Gambora (32) marries his Canadian lover Martin Dub (26), in a ceremony performed by Dignity Montreal and is then deported to Mexico as his visa expired after 3 years in Canada. Dub files a request with the Qubec supreme court that the province amend its civil code to allow him to marry legally. A favourable decision could call into question the heterosexually biassed federal Family Reunification Act. Judge rules against m-to-f transsexual Tracy Lauren who sues Valerie Tremain his>her baby's mother for custody of their biological child. Not clear how sexuality and gender identity affect the decision. Appeal lodged. Australia releases figures from 1996 census: a specific question on same-sex couples elicited 19,722 positive responses - about 0.25% of the population. Newfoundland adds "sexual orientation" to prohibited grounds of discrimination in its provincial human right legislation; Premier Brian Tobin had promised to do this when he was elected in February 1996; impetus was the human rights decision in the case of Brian Nolan (harassed by police in 1993) which went up to the Newf. Supreme court where the judge ordered the Liberal government to read "sexual orientation" into the province's human rights code. Unusually, the act contains a clause allowing same-sex couples to collect pension benefits whenever the Income Tax Act is amended. McLean Hunter extends same-sex spousal benefits to employees, effective Jan 1, 1998. "The ANC [African National Congress] National Conference tasks its representatives in all levels of government to establish equality for lesbian and gay people in the following areas in particular ... Family rights - custody and access, maintenance, immigration and adoption rights for lesbians and gay persons and the recognition of lesbian and gay families; establishing the equal right to marry for people of the same sex." As the GALE BC supreme court challenge to the Surrey BC school board's ban on the classroom use of Asha's Mums, Belinda's Bouquet, and One Dad, Two Dads proceeds, Polls conducted by the board's defence counsel show 61% of Surrey residents believe the books should not be used in kindergarten or grade 1 under any circumstances, though 31% said they should; 42% erroneously believed the books had already been removed from school libraries; 32% felt the final decision on use should rest with the board, 29% said teachers, 30% said others including parents. Since the registered partnership law passed in 1989 in Denmark, over 3000 Danes have registered same-sex partnerships, 2/3 men (most living in Copenhagen), 1/3 women (most living outside Copenhagen). (See aug 91, oct 92, june 94, early 97) 63

Dec 1997

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Early 1998

Early 1998

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Early 1998 Jan 1998 City of Barcelona extends same-sex spousal benefits to employees. Not Just Numbers, an advisory panel report written for Immigration Canada recommends same-sex spousal immigration. Recommendation 32: "spouse" should be defined as 1) a partner through a marriage legal in the jurisdiction in which it occurred or 2) a partner in an intimate relationship, including cohabitation of at least one year in duration, with the burden of proof resting on the applicant in either case. Rec 34 evolving definition of family - defined by sponsor. M & H settle amounts involved in Dec 96 appeal court decision (MvH) but Ontario government still plans to appeal to supreme court (see may 97). US researcher Frances Kelley, a doctoral student at the U of Maryland, releases results of a survey of 123 lesbians: 1) coming out at work likely makes the workplace more stressful as lesbians have to deal with homophobic reactions; 2) having a lesbian-positive workplace increases morale among the lesbians working there, whether or not they are out; 3) lesbians are more likely to be a) happy and b) out at work if in longterm relationships. Co-researcher Ruth Fassinger feels morale is higher among those who have come out since they are fighting the enemy without rather than within. Fassinger's other research indicates that surviving homophobia increases our "crisis competency" and makes us better at handling stress. Netherlands: registered partnership measure excluding adoption and AI (passed July 97) takes effect; Dutch parliamentary commission recommends rights be expanded to full equality to protect the estimated 20,000 children being raised by same-sex parents in Netherlands; recent survey by the newspaper Te Gay Krant shows 78% of Dutch public in support of gay marriages. A University of Utrecht poll of 1385 gays and lesbians found 45% hoping to be "married" this year. The Netherlands removes the only legal clause differentiating same- from opposite-sex common-law couples: same-sex registered partners are now allowed to adopt children. If a child is born within a same-sex registered partnership both parents automatically have equal rights. Brazilian high court awards Milton Alves Pedrosa (from Belo Horizonte, capital of the state of Minas Gerais) the right to half the estate of his deceased partner Jair Batista Prearo after their 7-year relationship. The will had been challenged by the family. Minister Ruy Rosado: "A judge nowadays cannot deny that two people of the same sex can form family ties." US: Alaskan judge rules in favour of two men who seek to marry, saying that a ban on same-sex marriage violates the state constitution, which guarantees privacy and equal protection under the law - unless the state can show a compelling state interest." The decision is not binding and could be appealed to the Alaska supreme court cp Hawaii

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Feb 1998 South Africa: Pretoria's high court orders police services medical aid to extend spousal coverage to lesbian police officer Jolande Langemaat (15 years in the force) and her lover of 11 years; the court rules that SA's constitutional protection for LGBs gives hetero- and homo-sexual relationships equal status. European Court of Justice reverses a preliminary ruling and rules England's South West Trains did not violate European law in denying spousal benefits to same-sex partner of employee Lisa Grant since benefits would not have been denied to a gay male couple either and are therefore not gender discrimination. (See early 96, sept 97) Former M16 deputy head Sir Gerald Warner announces M16 ("the human end of the intelligence") "now has a staff of 1800 and has just sent the first homosexual couple abroad" [on a spy mission]. British Columbia changes its Family Relations Act and becomes the first jurisdiction in North America to give same-sex couples the same privileges and obligations as opposite-sex couples, including custody, access, child support. New Toronto city council votes in same-sex spousal benefits for employees (39-3, the three being Rob Davis, Doug Holyday, Dick O'Brien). Surprisingly George (gays are perverts) Mammoliti votes for. Queen's law professor Kathleen Lahey estimates that heterosexual couples raked in $5.1 billion in 1993 through tax breaks provided by the Income Tax Act to heterosexuals only - the government's 57th largest expense. Using government data, she estimates same-sex couples forked out $16-165 million to fund benefits they aren't entitled to. Out gay New Zealand MP Tim Barnett calls prime minster Jenny Shipley a hypocrite for marching in support in the annual lesbian and gay Hero Parade only as a cheap publicity trick after she refused in parliament to support property rights for same-sex families and has refused to modify dozens of pieces of discriminatory legislation. MvH reaches supreme court (see may 97, jan 98). Heard by justice Ian Binnie, who made a stupid comment about faggots earlier this month (asked to speak at Phi Delta Phi, said he expected it to be a "faggoty dress-up party") and who represented an intervenor coalition of Focus on the Family, REALWomen and the Evangelical Fellowship in an earlier gay case. Judgment expected within six months. Vietnam, Mekong Delta: two lesbians, Cao Tien Duyen (20) and Hong Kim Huong (30), marry in the province of Vinh Long. Local peoples committee refuses to register them, but Vietnamese law neither bans nor recognized gay marriages. Labour arbitration rules Chrysler Canada is breaching its collective agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers union and must provide same-sex spousal 65

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection benefits; the arbitrator excluded pensions, fearing that to include them would lead to deregistration of the plan. Chrysler already has a non-registered pension plan for executives. (see sept 93, sept 96) March 1998 Canadian Auto Workers negotiates same-sex spousal benefits into their contract with GE Canada plants in Peterborough, Burlington, Toronto, and Pickering in Ontario and Boeing (Winnipeg). Delegates to the federal Liberal Party convention vote in favour of same-sex marriages and pension benefits. The motions, proposed by Young Liberals of Canada, are not binding on the government. Israel: civil service commission extends spousal benefits to civil service employees in same-sex relationships. The defence forces and the defence ministry are the last holdouts on this front in Israel. High court of Namibia overturns a ruling of the ministry of home affairs and grants residency to German lesbian Liz Frank because of her long-term lesbian relationship with a Namibian and her contributions to Namibian society. Namibian president Sam Nujoma has denounced gays on at least two occasions. [have this also as a June 1999 item] Judges Abella, McKinlay, Roudge rule 3-0 in the Ontario court of appeal that the heterosexual definition of spouse in the Income Tax Act is unconstitutional (Rosenberg/CUPE: pension plans must now pay out survivor benefits to same-sex spouses.) Richard Seed, a US physicist who says he intends to be the first to clone a human being, says, "No, I will not treat homosexuals because that is a genetic defect which I do not want to propagate." On the GBLT online news service, he says the first three couples he plans to treat will be chosen because "they look nice." Nova Scotia sets up a separate pension fund to allow it to extend pension benefits to same-sex spouses of public servants. Ontario did this Oct 1994. Australian gay man wins custody of child (an Aussie first) - after ex-wife found to have falsified evidence that man sexually abused boy. Court found mother's new household dysfunctional, hysterical, stressed, crisis-ridden. City of Toronto passes motion urging Ottawa to offer same-sex spousal pension rights so they can institute them without having their plan deregulated. Two councillors(Minnan-Wong, Holyday) voted against. Federal government announces it will not appeal the ITA decision in RosenberglCUPE. The Income Tax Act should therefore grant same-sex spousal pension benefits on the same basis as those for opposite-sex couples. Theoretically, this applies only in Ontario. (aug 92, sept 93, apr, dec 94, sept 95, oct 97, apr 98). The federal government then proceeds to apply the decision as narrowly as possible; does not amend ITA etc. 66

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection June 1998 BC government announces proposed legislation to extend same-sex spousal pension benefits in the public sector. Qubec government announces fall hearings into same-sex spousal recognition. Presbyterian church leaders announce plans to excommunicate Qubec minister Darryl Macdonald for refusing to give up his male lover and become celibate; his congregation supports him. Heterosexual ministers are allowed to marry. Romanian parliament narrowly rejects a proposal to decriminalise homosex; Council of Europe issues immediate criticism; a member of the Romanian Christian Democrats (the main party in the coalition government) says:" It would be immoral to legalise homosexual sex. Homosexual couples are sterile. They cannot breed. We want a healthy nation." Denmark votes 70-57 against lifting the ban on artificial insemination for lesbians. Since the registered partnership law passed in 1989 in Denmark, over 3000 Danes have registered same-sex partnerships, b men (most living in Copenhagen), a women (most living outside Copenhagen). City of Barcelona extends same-sex spousal benefits to employees. Slovenian government strikes working group to draft a registered partnership law. Argentina: Cecilia Lecchi kept in penitentiary in Ezeiza, denied visitation rights (2 hours every fortnight and family reunions on dates of special significance) with her lover Martha Miravete Cicero (united in a commitment ceremony by Rev. Roberto Gonzalez; union not recognized under Arg. Law). Cecilia is HIV+ and not receiving adequate medical attention, now down to 101 lbs. Austrian parliament's conservative majority votes down a penal code amendment to lower the age of consent for gay men from 18 to 14, in line with straights and lesbians; but they do vote to include same-sex partners in the penal code 72 definition of "next of kin" about refusing to testify in court. Labatt beers provide equal spousal health and pension survivor benefits to employees in same-sex relationships. South Africa, Cape Town High Court: the National Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Equality and two lesbian couples launch constitutional challenge against by Mangosuthu Buthelezi minister of Home Affairs for renewal of temporary residence permits. Another challenge was launched by six lesbian couples and the Commission on Gender and Equality against the Aliens Control Act, following the reversal of a June decision that most of the 6 couples could stay. In Dec 1997 dept stopped granting exemptions to same-sex couples applying for residency status. Two gay men and the presiding mullah are arrested as they attempt to hold a wedding in Lakihidar, Sindh Province, India; religious groups demand the gay men be hanged for mocking Islamic law; police order psychiatric evaluation; 67

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection under the Indian penal code, they can be jailed for life to sexual acts against the order of nature. Summer 98 July and August: Philippines senators Marcelo Fernan and Miriam Defensor Santiago propose four bills barring recognition of same-sex and/or transgender marriages, contracted in the Philippines or abroad, whether or not legal in the country in which they occurred. Philippine Family Code 1 defines marriage as a "special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life." The bills attach the qualifier "biological" to man/woman and male/female. 26 says the validity of a marriage is according to the law of the place it was held; this would then apply only to marriages between "biological" men and women.

August 1998 Sita Malla (24) and Rupa Shrestha (16) are arrested in Nawalparasi District, Nepal, after complaints from their parents that they had celebrated a traditional marriage ceremony; they are then released because there is no law against same. August 1998 In a 47-page ruling in the Moore/Akerstrom appeal, federal court justice Andrew MacKay says the federal government must change its definition of spouse to include same-sex couples or it is buying into the "appalling doctrine" of racial segregation. This follows the federal government's appeal in Moore/Akerstrom (fight begun in 1992; see nov 95, jun, jul 96, may 97) and its attempt to create a "separate but equal plan." It is no more appropriate for the employer in this case to have established a separate definition for persons in same-sex relationships than it would have been for the employer to create separate definitions for relationships of persons based on their race, colour, or ethnicity." August 1998 UK: Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops declares homosexuality "contrary to the scriptures" and votes (526-70, 45 abstentions) to uphold ban on out gay priests. Archbishop George Carey (Canterbury) denounces all sex outside marriage. Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma of Nigeria accuses Gay Christian Movement of defiling the church; he holds his hands over Richard Kirker's head, declaiming "I deliver you from your homosexuality to be a Christian, a devout Christian. Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah," and threatening him with hell if he does not repent; Mr Kirker prays that the bishop be delivered from his prejudice. Bishop Alexander Malik of Lahore denounces perversion, asking whether those who agree with homosexual unions would marry people to their pets. After the conference 148 bishops signed a letter urging "the entire Communion to continue (and in some places begin) prayerful, respectful conversation on the issue of homosexuality." Fall 1998 Vancouver Anglican bishop Michael Ingham withholds his consent on blessing same-sex unions pending further consultation (the New Westminster synod voted 179-170 in their favour this May). Ingham condemns "ex-gay healings" on the basis that God doesn't make mistakes when he makes people, so it's A to be gay.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection 11 of 35 Canadian bishops are in favour of ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians. Sept 1998 Michael Hendricks (57) and Ren LeBoeuf (43), lovers for 25 years, apply for civil marriage license (under Qubec Civil Code) from the Qubec superior court in Montreal, are rejected, file a Qubec superior court challenge (due to be heard Dec 15). Private members bill C225 to ban same-sex marriages reaches the floor of the house; bill sponsored by Tom Wappel (Liberal, Scarborough). Two Calgary lesbians, seeking each to adopt her lover's child, launch a challenge to Alberta's adoption laws. Lucien Bouchard, Parti Qubcois, introduces a provincial same-sex spousal bill then dissolves the national assembly to call an election, effectively killing the bill. Denis-Martin Chabot wins same-sex spousal grievance against CBC TV in Edmonton; Chabot moved from Toronto to Edmonton in 1993 and tried to register his partner for spousal benefits; he went to the Canadian Media Guild (his union) in Nov 93; the union filed a grievance early 1994 and paid costs. Now an arbitration board has ordered the CBC to supply the whole benefits package and an Alberta court has refused to overturn the decision. Unfortunately Chabot's 10year relationship came unstuck in the process. Bill reaches French parliament to apply the "civil solidarity pact" to any two people living together, romantically or otherwise; this would give same-sex couples most of the rights and status of married couples (not adoption); couples would sign up at a court clerk's office rather than the local registry office; a twoyear waiting period for a foreign national partner in a "c s pact" to get residence permit; vote postponed to December. Posters in the Paris metro warn of an end to the family. Catalonia, Spain: registered-partnership law grants cohabiting gay and straight couples many of the rights of matrimony but gays still can't adopt. Dalton McGuinty, head of Ontario Liberals, promises if they are elected, same sex couples will get the same rights as straight ones, including benefits, adoption, income tax; he had previously said he would support but not introduce a bill, and he voted against bill 167 in 94. Hearing in the case of Emma Blackburn who is trying to get back her three yearold son Tiberius from a friend in Montana who was minding him while B went up to Halifax NS to arrange to live with her lover. Sharon Clark says she is trying to protect the boy from B's lack of parenting skills, but the issue seems to be her sexual orientation. In 1996 Fraser Sinclair tried to place a personal ad in the Perth Courier but was told the paper didn't print ads from gay men because of the potential loss of 69

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection advertising revenue. He filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Courier publisher John Clements capitulates. Sinclair meantime is forced, by the publicity, to move his family from Lanark to find work and spare his children harassment. Late 1998 Late 1998 Uruguay: collective bargaining agreement of workers at the Cooperative Bancaria gives health and other benefits of unmarried (including same-sex) couples Mendoza province, Argentina: a court decision grants a same-sex couple the same social benefits as those acquired through heterosexual common law/marriage (including welfare payments, workers comp, and survivor benefits) because the couple has the same "evident, stable, and permanent" living arrangement as the other kind. Fiji considers an amendment to its new bill of rights (summer 98) to outlaw samesex relationships and marriage "to remove any doubts and fears about same-sex marriages and unnatural offenses being allowed" (attorney general); rumours spread that the constitutional ban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation may be removed. In spite of Lambeth conference fiasco (see aug 98), led by Richard Holloway, bishop of Edinburgh (who says the Bible should be seen as flawed and fallible), members of the liturgy committee of the Anglican Church in Scotland propose the church sanctions same-sex marriages; indeed some Scottish episcopal clergy already bless gay couples. In its paper Osservatore Romano, the Vatican denounces same-sex partnership recognition in the Netherlands, France and Catalonia. No similar condemnation of bashing or bigotry against gays has yet appeared. New Zealand: immigration minister Tuariki Delamere announces the government will end discrimination against de facto same sex couples seeking to immigrate who previously had to prove a relationship of 4 years standing - the period will now be 2 years, as for hets. Netherlands: cabinet approves introduction of bills (Dec 98) to open up marriage and (Nov 98) adoption to same-sex partners; likely debate (and possibly approval) will take until the end of 2000; the marriage bill leaves registered-partnership provisions in place for at least five years; for married lesbians, the partner of a new mother would not be assumed to be the father but would be able to adopt. Justice Paul Rivard, Ont. Court general division, rules that all pension plans in Ontario, including those of private companies, must provide same-sex spousal benefits. The case was brought by OPSEU, the OSSTF and others, and is fallout from the Ontario Human Rights Commission Leshner decision in 1992. The Ontario government must amend the Ontario Pension Benefits Act. The Ontario Government has until early January to appeal. (See apr 98, Rosenberg/CUPE)

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Early 1999 Bulgarian gay group publishes newspaper ad seeking legalization of same-sex marriage: a state cannot call itself democratic if people like us are marginalized, insulted and forced to segregation. Fiji tables a bill (to be voted on in May) to amend the 1998 bill of rights "to remove any doubts and fears about same-sex marriages and unnatural offences being allowed" (Attorney General Ratu Etuate Tavai); in the amendment, marriage is defined as the union of one woman and one man "to the exclusion of all others"; 38(2) of the b of r includes sexual orientation in the antidiscrimination provisions and the amendment ensures this does not override the marriage act or the penal code; this is a result of backlash from rightwingers and fundies against democratic measures in new 1998 constitution. Hirohiko Nakamura marries two gay men at a Shinto shrine in a prefecture west of Tokyo; regional Shinto HQ officials disapprove. Winnipeg council of rabbis says the decision of one of their peers to perform same-sex and interfaith unions will lead to a communal suicide, but Rabbi Michael Levenson says he has performs many such in the US which is more tolerant. (see mar 96) US: Decision expected Jan 22 in appeal of United Airlines against an April 98 ruling that they didn't have to provide all benefits, but did have to provide at least bereavement and equal travel benefits. The airline has refused and has teamed up with evangelist Pat Robertson's American Centre for Law and Justice to fight the order, although UA gives money to AIDS groups and sponsors a number of LGB events including Los Angeles pride. UA is allied with Air Canada (tho AC does offer SSSBs). Equal Benefits Advocates organizes a boycott of United Airlines who still refuse to provide same-sex spousal benefits and fought a San Francisco contract compliance bylaw insisting on SSSBs.

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January 1999 A tentative deal has been reached with Canada's Treasury Board on the Public Service Alliance of Canada's new contract which includes same-sex spouses: "A common-law spousal relationship exists when, for a continuous period of at least one year, an employee has lived with a person, publicly represented that person to be his/her spouse, and continues to live with that person as if that person were his/her spouse." Pension benefits are excluded. The contract affects some 90,000 office, engineer, transport, library and maintenance workers. January 1999 Immigration minister Lucienne Robillard says that immigration official already recognize same-sex couples and that she will see the law is changed to reflect this. January 1999 Toronto-based Foundation for Equal Families launches suit against 58 federal statutes which the government should bring in line with recent court decisions recognizing same-sex relationships; government officials say the government will make the changes; justice minister Anne McLellan says; "It is incumbent on us to review our own policy, our practices, to determine whether they are in fact in keeping with the letter of the law or the general orientation of the law"; Chrtien 71

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection makes rapid back-pedalling noises: "I don't know if there is a need for legislation; it is not on the agenda of the government," later he says it will be dealt with by each individual department; later he says there is no contradiction between his position and McLellan's. The government must file its response to the suit by Feb. January 1999 Ontario government appeals the ruling in the OPSEU/OSSTF case (see dec 98) that all pension plans in Ontario, including those of private companies, must provide same-sex spousal benefits and the Ontario government must amend the Ontario Pension Benefits Act. Jan 1999 European Union court of the first instance rejects appeal of Sven Englund, a Swedish man, employee of EU council of ministers, after the council refused him spousal benefits (household allowances) for himself and the man he is married to under the Swedish registered domestic partnership system. [Fall 1999: Danish government backs case] UK: Cambridge University researcher Dr Gill Dunne (now at LSE) publishes the results of a study of 43 couples which finds lesbian couples better at sharing household chores than heterosexuals and more inclined to see parenting as a joint responsibility. A later study shows gay men to be more nurturing fathers than straight men, more likely to keep in touch with the children after a domestic split, more likely to be on good terms with expartner. Stephen Brady, 39, Australias new ambassador to Denmark presents his lover Peter Stevens to Queen Margrethe. - palace policy. Alberta tables bill 12, the Domestic Relations Amendment Act, excluding samesex couples from the definition of common-law union. South Africa: Cape High Court rules that the Aliens Control Act discriminates against lesbian and gay couples in immigration rights; the decision must be confirmed by the Constitutional Court before it is binding. Judge Dennis Davis: "the Constitution seeks to promote a society in which diversity of identity is respected and protected. The act prefers certain forms of life partnership over others ... this cannot be justified." Davis and two other judges criticises the minster of home affairs Mangosuthu Buthelezi for "tardiness" and "disdain" and gives the government one year to bring legislation in line. National Post survey of 1014 Canadians: 42% believe same-sex couples should have the same benefits as heterosexual couples; 30% said marriage benefits should be for heterosexuals exclusively; 30% said equal couple benefits for LGBs but only if also for cohabiting adult couples bonded by something other than sex. Same-sex couple recognition approved of by 55% in Qubec, 42% nationally; by 51% of women and 34% of men polled; more by younger people. Tom Wappel: "All the indications that I have in my riding are that it's crystal clear that benefits should not be provided to homosexuals. There is every reason to 72

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection support and nurture the heterosexual concept of the traditional family and there is no reason to support and nurture other types ... [poll indicates] that the brainwashing of the homosexual movement is beginning to have an effect on Canadian public opinion [particularly among the youngest and most impressionable members of society]." 30% said gay advocacy groups have too much power (these comprise 48% of right-wing voters, 32% of NDPers and 28% of Liberals); 50% said enough; 19% said not enough. A sample of 1000 is expected to be accurate within 3.2% in 19 times in 20 if the results were applied to the whole population. Feb 1999 Bloc Qubcois MP Ral Mnard's spousal redefinition bill C309 dies on the order paper; time runs out for this session. It's his third attempt. NDP Svend Robinson, PC Diane St-Jacques, and Lib. Bill Graham hold a press conference in support of the bill, call themselves the pink caucus. PC Brison (NS) supported the bill in house debate. Finance minister Paul Martin's budget shows no recognition of tax changes affecting same-sex couples. New York: a regional board of the Presbyterian Church voted overwhelmingly to allow ministers in 95 churches to bless same-sex couples in ceremonies not called marriage. Cook County, Illinois, USA: county board commissioner sponsors an ordinance to give same-sex couples health and family leave benefits New Zealand: Campaign for Human Rights files hrc complaint against the NZ Red Cross for banning same-sex couples from their Desperate and Dateless Ball. European court rules that gay couples cannot be considered families as same-sex relationships are not legally defined as marriage. Case of an EU civil servant who filed a spousal benefits case in 1996; the EU has since extended spousal benefits to same-sex couples. Rosemarie Koehn, Norway's only female bishop in trouble with the priests of her diocese for reinstating Siri Sunde, a lesbian priest (appointed February 1999 in Norwegian state Lutheran church despite a 1997 ruling against out LGB priests) who had taken out a registered domestic partnership with her lover. 27 of the 120 ministers said they will no longer seek guidance from Bishop Koehn nor allow her to preach in their churches. Australian federal police offer same-sex spousal benefits to employees, following a request from the partner of the force's Rome-based liaison officer Alan Scott. French senate (216-99) rejects the measure passed (316-249) by the National Assembly December 1998 that gave common-law couples - gay & straight - most

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection of the status of marital and passed an alternative proposal (192-117) giving them to heterosexual common-law couples only. March 1999 Canadian Human Rights Commission releases annual report for 1998: refers to Vriend, Rosenberg/CUPE, Moore/Akerstrom; mentions NS pension plan for civil servants and teachers inclusion of same-sex survivor benefits, BC includes samesex partners in law on pensions for teachers, college instructors, municipal workers, BC couple recognition, PEI June amendment of human rights act, Qubec government announcement to change civil code and 23 laws to recognize opposite- and same-sex common-law couples; endorses need to change Immigration Act; finds "piecemeal approach" of government "regrettable." Complaints on the grounds of sexual orientation: 1995 - 76 complaints (4% of complaints overall); 1996 - 92 (5%); 1997 - 37 (2%); 1998 - 67 (4%). Xtra! November 1998 national readership survey conducted by Angus Reid (of responses received, 1000 random samples analyzed): 63% nationally & 66% Toronto single or in casual or longterm open relationships; overall 9% of men and 12% of women are in casual relationships; overall 15% are in longterm open relationships and only 10% of that 15% is women; 43% under 35 and 30% over 35 in longterm monogamy; 29% of those earning under $39,000 and 60% of those earning over $80,000 in longterm monogamy; viz: those most likely in financial need - older, poorer - have fewer traditional spouses. As a result of the Moore/Akerstrom case (see nov 95, jun, jul 96, may 97, aug 98), Treasury Board, Ottawa, plans to offer same-sex spousal benefits (including survivor benefits) to employees as it overhauls the pension plans of the 300,000 federal employees (public servants, crown corp. employees, members of the RCMP and armed forces), plan to be introduced in April. TB president Marcel Mass says the government is reacting to court decisions such as Rosenberg/CUPE; PSAC says they are trying to pre-empt a legal challenge on pensions by Mr Akerstrom in behalf of himself and his partner Alexander Diaz (case filed in federal court 1997; no court date set yet). Reform Party says the gay and lesbian lobby has intimidated the government. Government says it will need $28 billion in surplus funds to do this, plus higher contribution rates. Pension fund expert Malcolm Hamilton of Wm Mercer Ltd says "the cost [of survivor benefits for same-sex spouses] is so small you have hard time measuring it." Finance minister Paul Martin later says he plans changes to the Income Tax Act and Canada Pension Plan to recognize same-sex couples; this is a consequence of the government's not appealing the Rosenberg/CUPE ruling (aug 92, sep, 93, apr, dec 94, sep 95, oct 97, apr, jun, dec 98). March 1999 Alberta premier Ralph Klein attends meeting to discuss same-sex spousal rights and announces that he will do everything in his power to block gay marriages, using the notwithstanding clause of the Charter; but he does says he will ease barriers to fostering and adopting by gay parents. Social services minister Lyle 74

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Oberg says all such placements must be justified in writing and personally assessed by him. Later a poll indicates more Albertans are in favour of some same-sex spousal recognition. Later the Alberta government seems to be entertaining a plan to formalize same-sex relationships, possibly a registered domestic partnership system. Reform MP Ian McClelland (Edmonton Southwest) publishes a letter saying his son is gay and living "in a committed relationship" and is "supported by his family and his partner's family." He voted against including sexual orientation in the Can Human Rights Act because "homosexuals are first persons and citizens and therefore enjoy the same rights and privileges as everyone else." Now he says he is hard pressed to deny lesbians and gays benefits simply because they are homosexual and speaks of "registered domestic partnerships." March 1999 BC Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh says he plans to legislate next session to protect survivor benefits for same-sex relationships, including handling estates and disposing of human remains. Former Danish health minister Torben Lund (49) marries Claus Lautrup (28) at Copenhagen city hall; he has two daughters (23 and 14) from two previous marriages; "One shouldn't hesitate to listen to the voice of the heart. You only live once"' Denmark's first out gay cabinet-level official, Lund is considered shooin for a Europarliament seat. Denmark: 4338 gay marriages in the last 11 years, initially, more men than women, but now more women than men. Czech cabinet oks (88-80, 13 abstentions) 2nd reading of domestic partnership registration bill that includes same-sex relationships; couple execute a contract before a notary and get most of the social and property rights of matrimony; bill drafted by all parties represented in the Chamber of Deputies, except the Christian Democrats. Final vote expected May. New Zealand legal change takes effect: the Residency Policy (immigration) is amended to give same-sex couples the same status as heterosexual common-law couples. Puerto Rico: congress approves, with little debate, a bill already approved by senate banning recognition of LG marriage: any marriage between same-sex persons or transsexuals celebrated in other jurisdictions will not be valid r recognized by the law in Puerto Rico. Israeli Ministry of Education bans Community of Lesbian Feminist from setting up a table at the ministrys education fair, themed The Right To Respect and the Obligation To Respect, claiming that the ministry gives priority to procreating families. Demo ensues.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection April 1999 US: New Hampshire passes bill repealing law forbidding gays from fostering children. Only NH and Florida had laws against gay fostering and adoption. (In Florida, having a gay household member is enough reason for a negative decision.) Madrid: Metropolitan Community Church conducts its 2nd wedding (two men) using the Catholic Church Roman Ritual of Marriage. Recent U of Winnipeg (Sandra Kirby, chair of women's studies) survey of 123 LG seniors (38-80, average age 57, about the same number each gender) released: 42% live alone. 82% rely on friends for emotional support, 51% on a spouse, 23% on a sibling. The highest rated family member (23%) fell behind pets. 56% in relationship. 19% felt healthcare providers knowledgeable about lg issues. 59% worried about nursing-home homophobia; 84% said they would not consider seniors' housing. Average income $27,934. 41.6% of the women had incomes below the poverty line ( ie less than $17,132). For the 7th year in a row, Toronto-based engineer David Mitges complains at the annual meeting of Imperial Oil about the lack of same-sex spousal benefits; CEO Bob Peterson says he will continue to deny the benefits until the law compels him to offer them (see mar 95, apr 96). The Canadian armed forces (with a personnel of 60,000) report that few soldiers are coming forward to claim the same-sex spousal benefits they have ben offered since July 1996: 17 claims were made in 1998 for medical, dental and relocation benefits. Dept Defence says 1998 saw 7 requests for medical/dental benefits, all from women but no figures available for 1997; 1998 saw 10 claims for relocation benefits (not covered under the ruling that ensured medical/dental but magnanimously provided) (2 men, 8 women), down from 12 in 1997. Michelle Douglas remarks that, of the 10 women in her own basic training class, only one was heterosexual. Qubec justice minister Linda Goupil announces legislation (bill 32) to overhaul 28 provincial laws and give all common-law couples, straight or gay, the same rights; marriage laws will not be changed; Goupil says the move reflects the values accepted by a large part of Qubec society and Quebeckers should be very proud; province $15m p.a. and have an impact on the 1-2% of the Qubec population who identify as common-law gay couples. Qubec has the largest number of common-law couples of any Canadian province: 16.5% in 1991, 20%+ in 1996. Justice minister Anne McLellan releases plan to amend the Divorce Act in the areas of child custody, access, and support. It is based on the 48 recommendations of the Senate-Commons Committee on Joint Child Custody and Access, recently approved by the federal cabinet, which include: that sexual orientation not be considered a negative factor in the disposition of shared parenting decisions." 76

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection May 1999 Supreme court delivers decision in MvH, an alimony case under the Ontario Family Law Act. Justices Peter Cory and Frank Iacobucci wrote the decision for the majority (8-1, Charles Gonthier dissenting): "it is clear that the human dignity of individuals in same-sex relationships is violated by the definition of "spouse" .... I conclude that the definition of spouse in section 29 of the Family Law Act violates section 15(l) [of the Charter]," finding also that the discrimination cannot be justified under 1. Ontario has six months to rewrite the law, which will otherwise be struck down. PC Harris says he will comply though he disagrees; McGuinty and Hampton say they approve. Federal justice minister Anne McLellan views the ruling as dealing only with provincial law and the province of Ontario. Star editorial: "it is a shame that governments have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into granting legal equality to their citizens, 14 years after Canada's Charter of Rights took effect." May 1999 As part of a bill allowing it to claim retroactively [a.k.a raid] the $30 billion surplus in the public-service pension plan, the federal government passes 137118 a bill (C-78) which permits survivor benefits to same-sex spouses (survivors of "conjugal relationships") under the Public Service Superannuation Plan. Six Liberal backbenchers and all opposition MPs (including out gay MPs Svend Robinson and Ral Mnard - because of the pension plan grab) voted against. In July the senate refers a bill to a committee to deal with concerns about the raid, but the committee approved the bill without amendment. Royal assent received Sept. 14. Applies to deaths after Sept 14 1999 only. Nova Scotians Wilson Hodder and Paul Boulais are the first gay men in Canada to get survivor benefits from the Canada Pension Plan, following their four-year fight for same. Their cases were settled just before a May 31 CPP appeals tribunal which found for Boulais and against Hodder. At Ottawa Mosque, Imam Gamal Solaiman denounces same-sex relationships as unnatural, unhealthy, and against gods will; he encourages worshippers to take up the issue with two provincial election candidates who are canvassing after the service (Tory Roy Kostuch totally opposed to homosexual marriage and Liberal Rick Chiaperelli no position, neither elected) and, though refusing to endorse any party, invites Muslims to contribute to the Liberals or the Tories. Belgium: equal opportunities minister of the Flemish community launches a campaign urging parents to accept their gay lesbian children. Denmark: parliament votes 61-48 to increase rights under registered partnership law, including recognition of registered couples from Norway, Sweden, and Iceland; foreign couples can register after living in the country for two years; most registered partners will be able to adopt each others children, unless the child was originally adopted from a foreign country. Still omitted: state will not provide AI to lesbians, gay couples cannot adopt foreign children. Effective July 1. 77

May 1999

May 1999

May 1999 May 1999

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection May 1999 May 1999 For the 2nd time, French senate rejects a bill giving legal status to unmarried couples (see mar 99). Alberta passes The Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act which replaces spouse in the Child Welfare Act with step parent thus allowing adoption by gay and lesbian couples. Germany: Hamburg opens a domestic partnership registry for same-sex couples resident in the city; provides right to hospital visits, public accommodation and housing rights. German federal government promising a limited registered partnership law. Seven couples register right away with the city of Hamburg. Finland: government committee recommends registered partnership law with all the right of heterosexuals except for adoption. James C Hormel, the first out gay US ambassador, sworn in by secretary of state Madeleine Albright as Ambassador to Luxembourg; his partner holds the bible used for the ceremony. New South Wales passes the property Relationships Bill (covering break-up property division, and alimony as well as survivor inheritance and hospital visitation) to give same-sex common-law couples many of the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts. US district judge Claudia Wilken rules against United Airways (see jan 99) and the Air Transport Association and upholds the San Francisco contract compliance requirement on non-federally regulated benefits. The airlines do have to provide economic benefits such as pensions and health insurance, but they do have to provide secondary benefits such as bereavement and family leave, free or discounted family flights. S chief assistant attorney Dennis Aftergut says he hopes to enforce immediate compliance. Finnish justice minister Johnannes Koskinen backs a proposal for registered domestic partnerships (but no adoption). South African pension funds adjudicator Prof John Murphy rules a pension fund discriminatory for not including same-sex couples and orders change; survivor benefits case of Rory Martin v Beka Provident Fund. Australia, NSW: Property (Relationships) Legislation Amendment Bill passes (need governors assent, a formality); changes definition of de facto relationship to include same-sex relationships in general and in some 25 statutes. Quebec passes bill 32, changing 39 laws and regulations and giving same-sex common-law couples the same status as heterosexual ones (incl pension, insurance, and tax issues). (see jun 99) Scottish parliament grants travel allowances to the domestic partners of gay and straight MPs who will be reimbursed for up to 12 journeys each year between home and Edinburgh. 78

May 1999

Mid-1999 Mid-1999

Mid-1999

Mid-1999

Mid-1999 June 1999

June 1999

June 1999

June 1999

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection June 1999 Swiss government initiates a process that should result in relationships recognition; the Legal Commission of the National Council votes 18-3 for registered partnership and 14-5 against same-sex marriage; a recent survey found 68% of Swiss in favour of legal recognition; a national referendum may follow. UK changes immigration law definition of unmarried partners to include samesex couples (this had been operating as a policy since October 1997); cohabitation qualification is reduced from four years to two and there will be a good chance, it is thought, for couples whose circumstances preclude cohabitation; those illegally in the UK will have the chance to benefit; relationships ending due to domestic violence during the probationary period will not now exclude the foreign partner from the country; no income requirement, medical exam, or HIV test; those granted asylum in the UK can bring their partners. Quebecs bill 32 (see may 99) passes its 3rd and final reading Angus Reid poll finds 53% in favour of legal marriage for same-sex couples, 44% opposed, 3% undecided. In response to Reform Party provocation, justice minister Anne McLellan says the government has no intention of supporting same-sex marriage: marriage is for heterosexuals. She says this supports the family without taking away the rights of same-sex couples; she calls the bill unnecessary since no court decisions on samesex marriage have come down. Reform Party family critic Eric Lowther (Calgary Centre) argues that the recent supreme court ruling (MvH) has confused people: With the capacity for natural heterosexual intercourse as an essential element ... marriage provides a healthy biological design for procreation. Other types of relationships are technically incomplete. He also mentions [heterosexual] parental fullness and the gender-deprived parenting of same-sex relationships, suggesting that the children of straight couples grow up to behave better. Wentworth-Burlington MP John Bryden speaks of the right of children to heterosexual parents. Winnipeg liberal John Harvard calls all this fearmongering. Conservative house leader Peter MacKay says Reform is trying to raise the hackles of divisiveness, inside and outside the house, for political gain. House of Commons votes (216-55) for a heterosexual definition of marriage, excluding all others. Australian out gay high court judge Michael Kirby calls for relationships recognition. Australian high court justice Michael Kirby, who came out in April by listing his lover in the 1999 Whos Who in Australia, the only out gay justice of a court of final appeal, makes first out public appearance at a London conference on relationship recognition. BC passes Definition of Spouse Amendment Act which amends spouse in a number of pieces of legislation including a marriage-like relationship between persons of the same gender re wills, estates, inheritance, and related laws. 79

June 1999

June 1999 June 1999 June 1999

July 1999 July 1999

July 1999

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection July 1999 UK: domestic partners - gay or straight - are banned from royal garden parties after two gay male priests kiss at a reception for chaplains and former chaplains. The Times says the Duke of Edinburgh and the lord chamberlain Lord Camoy were particularly upset by the incident. Prince Charles had been behind the liberal policy that allowed the male partners of Ian McKellen, Elton John, and government minister Chris Smith, to attend.

August 1999 Doshik and Yehuda, two gay male vultures at a Jerusalem zoo, are given foster eggs, after being tested with a plastic egg. They brood, takes turns on the nest, and nurture, and are now fostering their second chick. August 1999 New Scientist reports on lesbian seagulls nesting and rearing chicks, male manatees having gay sex, male ostriches courting each other with their ritual dance, female long-eared hedgehogs engaging in cunnilingus, pygmy chimpanzees (bonobos) have indiscriminate sex, a 12% lesbian mating and nesting rate among roseate terns. August 1999 South Africas constitutional court delays judgement in the appeal (by the department of home affairs) against a lower court decision that denying residency to gay lovers violates the constitution. August 1999 Russia: Chelyabinsk gay group, Freedom of Conscience, calls on the government to legalize gay marriage. Chelyabinsk (pop. 1m+) is on the Miass River in the Asian part of the Southern Urals, 950 miles east of Moscow, August 1999 Spain: mayor of Calvia, Balaeric Islands, married Julian Diaz, 35, and Rodolfo Olocco, 45; the marriage is recorded in the town civil registry but will not be recognized nationally. August 1999 Canadian Bar Association votes to urge federal and provincial governments to change laws discriminating against same-sex couples. CBA has a sexual orientation and gender identity committee. CBA presents first SOGIC awards: Svend Robinson, Martha McCarthy August 1999 Federal NDP convention passes motion endorsing same-sex marriage; about 25 vote against; some 700 attend. August 1999 New Zealand: government considers registered-partnership legislation; One Network News Colmar Brunton/Viewfinder poll: on gay marriage, 44% were for, 41% against, 15% dont know; on same-sex couple adoption, 48% against, 37% in favour, 15% undecided. Later NZ PM Jenny Shipley says she expects to see same-sex partnerships legally recognized in NZ within two years, including the right to adopt but she stopped short of including marriage. This country has to face up both in law and reality to same-sex relationships. This should not be a political issue.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection August 1999 BC human rights commission awards Gail Meredith, denied survivor pension benefits under her lovers union pension plan (which was operating under the ITA definition of spouse), $100,000+ Sept 1999 Sept 1999 Sept 1999 US: Wall St Journal / NBC News poll shows b believe gay marriage will be legalized in the next 75 years. Germany: City parliament of Berlin (with few voting against) grants residence permits to same-sex partners of German citizens. UK: the Law Society calls for equal recognition of same-sex relationships, in a paper which discusses cohabitation contracts but maintains distinction between common-law and married; an estimated 25% of unmarried adults 16-49 are living together and one in three babies is born out of wedlock, therefore change is necessary. Courts in Ontario extend same-sex spousal benefits to justices. Canadian Auto Workers negotiates contract with Ford that includes same-sex spousal benefits, including bereavement leave and pension rights. Cami, which makes Isuzu, offered sssbs at its Ingersoll plant in 1996; Chrysler was ordered to in 1998 by a labour tribunal; CAW negotiated sssbs with General Motors 1996. Royal assent given to federal bill 78 to provide equal survivor benefits to samesex spouses of civil service employees with pensions; passed commons May 1999.

Sept 1999 Sept 1999

Sept 1999

October 1999 British Rail extends spousal benefits to lesbian and gay employees (result of Lisa Grants long battle with south east trains). October 1999 UK supreme court gives same-sex couples the same rights as married couples in the subrogation of rental contracts for dwellings. October 1999 California governor Gray Davis signs package of laws improving human rights protection for LGBs in schools, workplaces, homes, including a statewide domestic partnership registry for the elderly, hospital visitation rights, health benefits. California now joins Wisconsin, Mass, Connecticut in explicitly forbidding antigay prejudice and harassment in the school system. October 1999 The national assembly of France votes 315-249 to legalise same-sex unions by creating civil solidarity pacts for unmarried French hetero- and homosexuals who will register partnerships at courthouses as of next year and will get most but not all the rights of marriage. After three years of a relationship, couples can file joint tax returns, claim simultaneous vacation time from employers, lighter inheritance taxes. The 12th country to implement same-sex partner immigration, France is a Catholic country but fewer than 10% attend church. Justice minister Elisabeth Guigou says there are 5 million unmarried couples in France, an estimated 0.6 million of whom are LGBs.

81

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection The law could be appealed to France highest legal body, the constitutional court, but it is not certain on what grounds. Opposition to the bill was stronger in small towns, even socialist and communist areas, which is why the registration will take place in courthouses rather than municipal locations. Young right-wing voters, however, were in favour. The words abhorrent and aberration cross the Popes lips; comments from Catholic, Jewish and Muslim leaders say the law will loosen the strength of the family in France but it is noted that some 40% of French children are born out of wedlock already. Oct 1999 Federal government settles spousal rights case with BC gay man Don Fisk, 70, at federal court of appeal ; Fisk was seeking marital-level support from the CPP of his partner Joseph Blixxt who died in 1993. An Old Age Security Act case is still pending. Reform Party leader Preston Manning, in his response to the throne speech, insists the government should concentrate on strengthening the rights of the family and defining the rights of the unborn; the government should clarify the definition of family as the primary biological and social context into which out children are born; a family should be defined as individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption. Ontario passes bill 5, sponsored by the conservative government, an act to amend certain statutes because of the supreme court decision in MvH, which creates a category same-sex partner with all the rights and responsibilities of commonlaw status, except that adoption is a bit odder. Liberals and NDP agree to support the bill and it passes three readings in two hours. The attorney general says that the government will now drop all spousal challenges it currently has in the courts. US president Bill Clinton: One couple came to see me tonight - two men, one was from Australia, the other from New Zealand - and they said that as a couple, they hadnt the same immigration rights coming into America as they did in either Canada or New Zealand. I dont think thats right. I think that ought to be changed. Later in October, aide to congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NT) sais he is preparing a same-sex immigration bill. In Sept., Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley said he supported a domestic partnership category. Nov 1999 An Immigration and Refugee Board report says Canada has accepted 8 gay male refugees in the last four months; Reform Party immigration critic Leon Benoit calls on the government to remove discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as a grounds for refugee claims Canadian finance department releases study written by tax policy officer Albert Wakkary, saying including same-sex couples in spousal statutes will increase Ottawas revenue by $20m, a minuscule savings for the $77b tax system; this is 82

Oct 1999

Oct 1999

Oct 1999

Nov 1999

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection based on the assumption that 1.5% of couples are gay, about 140,000 couples; this is based on a 1990 StatsCan study on consumer finances, yielding data on homes in which two unrelated adults of the same sex live together, excluding students and showing that over 90% of same-sex households consist of two income earners. About b of same-sex couples, when they combine their earnings, will forgo the collectively $28m they claim for GST credits for low- and middle range earners, therefore 93,000 couples will pay $300 more a year in income tax; but the government will lose about $8m, mainly the married and equivalent to married credit for supporting a dependent; tax breaks that affect common-law couples such as child benefits will be virtually non-existent for gays; the overall savings to the $77-billion tax system will be minuscule; the government is concerned about people pretending to be couples, and registered domestic partnerships are mentioned as a solution. Nov 1999 Stats Can, which had formerly said it could not include a question on sexual orientation because heterosexuals would then be too upset to answer the census, says it will include a question on same-sex partners in the 2001 census. Follow up in MvH: M disapproves of Bill 5, believing it is contrary to the spirit of the MvH decision and asks the supreme court to review it. Federal Court of Appeal hears the federal governments appeal of the May 97 (qv) decision of the public service staff relations board that they must extend marriage leave to Ross Boutilier (a scientist with Natural Resources Canada in Halifax) on the basis of his union ceremony with his same-sex spouse; Ottawa wants the case referred to the Canadian Human Rights Commission; Boutiliers union, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, wants the initial decision upheld. Judge Rivard in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice rules that the Ontario Human Rights Codes heterosexual definition of marital status is discriminatory, deletes the qualifier of the opposite sex, adds a straight category and the same-sex partnership status created by bill 5 to the definition of marital status in the Code. UK: 37 evangelist churches say they will withhold their annual donations to the C of Es Society for Children to protest its lifting its ban on gay adoption. S Africa: Cape High Court rules the Aliens Control Act discriminates against lesbians and gay men by denying them equal rights with married couples; case launched by six couples Dec 1998. Judge Dennis Davis: The Constitution seeks to promote a society in which diversity of identity is respected and protected. Alberta: Court of the Queens Bench rules partnerships composed of two lesbian mothers may adopt children they have helped raise.

Nov 1999 Nov 1999

Dec 1999

Dec 1999 Dec 1999

Dec 1999

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection Dec 1999 European Court of Human Rights rules against the appeals court in Lisbon which deprived Joao Manuel Salguiero de Silva Mouta of his rights as a father because he is gay; Silva Mouta was told he could only visit his daughter if he never came out to her.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection

registered
country

domestic
qualifications

partnership
comments: doesnt include municipal regulations

European Union

94.01 European parliament resolves (15996) that homosexual couples be allowed to marry and adopt children. The resolution is not binding on the 12 European union states. 99.02 European court rules gay couples cannot be considered families as same-sex relationships are not legally defined as marriage; the EU has since extended spousal benefits to same-sex couples.

Belgium

considering; some municipal registry 96-late: common-law same-sex couples now eligible for the same unemployment benefits as heterosexual couples 00.01 statutory cohabitation contract law provides (mostly symbolic) domestic partnership registration in a citys register of population; couple jointly responsible for expenses and debts and will jointly own property acquired during the relationship; contact does not cover income tax, adoption, medically assisted procreation, social security, pensions, inheritance, or immigration

Brazil

95.06: 60% in favour of recognizing samesex p'ships. Congresswoman Marta Suplicy (workers' party) has already proposed a bill. 96.03: bill referred to a special parliamentary commission; it must be approved by four parliamentary commissions then voted on by congress. 98.02 high court awards man the right to half the estate of his deceased partner. Minister: "A judge nowadays cannot deny that two people of the same sex can form family ties." 00.06 government issues decree granting same-sex couples equal rights in the areas of pensions, social-security benefits and income tax.

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection

Czech Republic

1999 March

limited

99.03 cabinet okays domestic partnership registration bill that includes same-sex relationships; couples execute a contract before a notary and get most of the social and property rights of matrimony

Denmark

1989 Oct

no church weddings; no artificial insemination (AI); gay couples cannot adopt foreign children; wedding ceremony and divorce regulations same as for heterosexual civil marriage

95.08 recognizes p'ships registered in Norway, Sweden 99.05 parliament increases rights under registered partnership law, including recognition of reg. couples from Iceland; foreign couples can register after living in the country for two years; most registered partners will be able to adopt each others children. 96.04 minister groups of 4 of the 5 parties (not the National Coalition) in the cabinet favour a Scandinavian-style registered partnership law for same-sex couples (viz. the whole package excluding AI, adoption, and in vitro fertilization). 97.02 parliament law committee begins study on a reg p'ship measure mid-99 committee recommends registered partnership law with all the rights of heterosexuals except for adoption; justice minister agrees.

Finland

France

Oct 1999

limited

99.10 national assembly legalises same-sex unions by creating civil solidarity pacts for unmarried French hetero- and homosexuals who will register partnerships at courthouses as of next year and will get most but not all the rights of marriage. After three years of a relationship, couples can file joint tax returns, claim simultaneous vacation time from employers, lighter inheritance taxes, etc 99.11 Germany recognizes same-sex domestic partnerships.

Germany Greenland 1996

94.02 Landstinget rules Danish law of registered p'ships for same-sex couples now valid in Greenland

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection

Hungary

1996 May

rights must be applied for; no adoption; no marriage

amended existing common-law law to cover same-sex couples (reform forced by 95.03 court decision); marriage reserved for heterosexuals 95.01 Altinget's gay issues committee recommends legalizing gay marriage, criminalizing discrimination, increasing gay+ education in the schools 96.07 registered domestic-partnership options for same-sex couples, most rights and responsibilities 96.05: Green MP Renee Wagener introduces bill to give legal status to gay marriage.

Iceland

1996 July

joint custody of each other's children - but no church weddings, adoption, AI, or in-vitro fertilization; one must be resident Icelandic citizen

Luxembourg

Netherlands

1997 July (in force 98.01)

no AI 98.02 permits adoption; both parents have equal rights over a child born within a reg. p'ship

legally binding "cohabitation contract" also available 98.01 registered partnership measure excluding adoption and AI (passed July 97) takes effect; parliamentary cssn recommends rights be expanded to full equality to protect the estimated 20,000 children being raised by same-sex parents in Netherlands; recent survey by the newspaper Te Gay Krant shows 78% of Dutch public in support of gay marriages. 98.02 same-sex registered partners are now allowed to adopt children; both parents have equal rights when a child is born within a same-sex registered partnership.. 99.06 cabinet approves introduction of bills to open up marriage and adoption to same-sex partners; likely debate (and possibly approval) will take until the end of 2000; the marriage bill leaves registered-partnership provisions in place for at least five years; for married lesbians, the partner of a new mother would not be assumed to be the father but would be able to adopt.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection

Norway

1993 April

no adoption; no church marriage; specifies the two partners must be homosexual; one must be resident Norwegian citizen

93.04 passes a law (similar to Denmarks) allowing lesbian and gay couples to mark their relationships with a contract similar to the one that legalizes marriage by registering their relationships with a notary public; couples would then have the rights and obligations of a married couple except for adoption and marriage in the (state) Lutheran church. 95.08 recognizes p'ships registered in Norway, Sweden

Slovenia Spain

mid-98: government strikes working group to draft a registered partnership law likely similar to nordic law mid-94: ministry of social affairs announces a bill giving equal rights to unmarried couples, straight or gay - except for adoption and shared paternal authority. 94.12 national parliament approves request that the government consider a law on relationship recognition. 97.05 congress passes first reading of domestic partnership bill (same- and opposite-sex partners) including retirement, social security, and labour rights, but no adoption or immigration. 98.10 Catalonia has registered partnership law for cohabiting gay and straight couples many of the rights of matrimony but gays still can't adopt.

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection

Sweden

1994 June

no adoption; no AI; one must be resident Swedish citizen

91.08 national board of health and welfare rejects a gay mans application to adopt a child, because children need to understand that they "cannot come into the world except through sexual relations between a man and a woman." 94.06 registered partnership law gives same-sex relationships the same rights as heterosexual ones (except for adoption and artificial insemination). 95.01 local governments appoint officials to oversee the registrations everywhere but Varnamo, a conservative town east of Stockholm 95.08 recognizes p'ships registered in Denmark, Norway 96 housing committee of national parliament orders federal government to draft a bill extending housing allowances to same-sex couples.

Switzerland

96-early: national council votes 68-61 to order the government to provide a samesex domestic partnership law; should come to a vote within two years 93.01 parliamentary committee votes that local authorities should continue to allow lesbians and gay men to be evicted from public housing on the death of a partner; this is overturned by May. 94.07 court ruling gives lesbian couple equal legal status as parents of a 22-monthold boy; but the man who impregnated the mother faces an investigation by the child support agency since both mothers live on state benefits. 96 Britain's minister of housing okays joint tenancy for same-sex couples equal to that of married couples; this assures continued residency if one partner dies 00.05 Scotland: same-sex partners included in Adults With Incapacity Bill.

UK

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection

same-sex spousal immigration Australia

96.07: tighter immigration laws stop L/G lovers from being granted residence (as they had been since 1985) limited number of interdependency class visas or compelling or exceptional circs

Belgium Canada Denmark Finland

sort of

fall 97 inclusive immigration provision for unmarried partners 94.06 departmental policy: grace-and-favour arrangement under "humanitarian and compassionate" grounds

93.11 Finland grants asylum to a Russian gay man Konstantin Gontjarov (deportation order overturned by the High Court of Appeal) citing persecution in Russia and Gontjarov's "marriage-like condition" to another man same status as common-law hets, have to have lived together one year minimum

Germany

96.10 high administrative court recognizes a gay binational couple (German/Romanian) for immigration purposes, granting the Romanian a residence permit so that the two can continue to live together; requirements in such a case include: serious intent; cohabitation rooted in Germany; German partner must demonstrate they have the means for this; nonGerman should have access to sufficient space in the German partner's home.

Iceland Namibia Netherlands

98.03 residence granted to German lesbian based on relationship with N woman and contribution to N society

92: British gay man permitted to stay in the Netherlands on the grounds that in England he would be subject to prosecution for his relationship with his 17-year-old lover. included under spouse, must have been togther at least two years 92 N permits a British lesbian to live in the country with her lover on the grounds of her "family connection"; this follows a two-year battle; the case was appealed all the way to the minister of justice. 99.12 court ruling giving same-sex couples same status as foreign spouses 96.early Catalonia superior justice tribunal in Barcelona rules a Colombian gay man whose lover is Spanish has the right to seek residency in Spain

New Zealand Norway

1991 April

South Africa Spain

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection

Sweden UK


96-late: a Moroccan man wins the right to stay in Britain based on his 13 year relationship with a British national. 99.06 immigration law definition of unmarried partners to include same-sex couples (this had been operating as a policy since October 1997); cohabitation qualification is reduced from four years to two and there will be a good chance, it is thought, for couples whose circumstances preclude cohabitation; those illegally in the UK will have the chance to benefit; relationships ending due to domestic violence during the probationary period will not now exclude the foreign partner from the country; no income requirement, medical exam, or HIV test; those granted asylum in the UK can bring their partners

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection
Some Canadian employers who do offer same-sex spousal benefits include: - Acadia University11 - Air Canada - AKA Gallery (Saskatoon) - Alberta Health Care Association* - Alfred D'Alliare - Anglican Church of Canada - Bank of Montreal - Bank of Nova Scotia - Bell Canada - Bell-Northem Research (Feb 94) - Blue Cross (pending appeal) - Brampton Hydro-Electric Cssn. - BC Hydro - BC Institute of Technology - BC Tel - BC Telecom - Burnaby Public Library - Cablevision Videotron - Cami Automotive8 - Canada Post (Mar 94) - Canadian Airlines - Canadian Council for Intl Cooperation - Canadian Federation of Students, Central Committee - Canadian Hearing Society15 - Canadian Union of Public Employees7,8,9 - Canadian University Students Overseas (CUSO)10 - Carleton Board of Education - Carleton University - Catholic ChildrensAid Society of HamiltonWentworth - Centretown Community Health Clinic (Ottawa) - Certified General Accountants of Canada - Certified General Accountants' Association of Ontario - Childrens' Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay - Chrysler - Cineplex/Odeon - City of Halifax - City of Kanata - City of Kitchener - City of Langley5 - City of Montreal - City of New Westminster - City of North Vancouver - City of Ottawa1,3 - City of Port Moody - City of Prince Rupert - City of Richmond - City of Toronto6 (Oct/90) - City of Vancouver5,12,16 (Oct/90) - City of Vancouver - Parks/Rec - Columbia - Community Health Services Saskatoon - Comosum College (BC)5 - Concordia University - Coop. Housing Federation of Canada - Coors Brewing Co. - Corporation of Delta - Dalhousie University - Decca - District of Burnaby - District of Coquitlam - District of North Vancouver - Dow Chemicals - East Kootenay Community College7 - Elizabeth Fry Society (Ottawa) - First Air - 519 Church St Community Centre, Corporation of Toronto - Ford - Fox Inc. - General Motors (Canada) - Glaxo Wellcome - Globe & Mail1 - Greater Vancouver Regional District - Hamilton Spectator - Hamilton Public Libraryl,2 - Harbourfront Centre (Toronto) - Health Labour Relations Ass'n (BC)13* - Hospital for Sick Kids (Toronto) - Hudson's Bay Company - IBM - Labatts - Langara Students' Union5 - Law Society of Upper Canada - Legal Services Society of BC4,5,12 - Levi Strauss (Canada) - Library of Parliament - London Life Insurance - Lotus Development Corp (Sept/91) - MCA - McGill University - McLean Hunter - McLean's Magazine - McMaster University - Metropolitan Toronto6 (Jun/92) - Metropolitan Toronto Childrens Aid Society7 - Metropolitan Toronto Police Force - Metropolitan Toronto Y (Jun/92) - Molson's (Barrie plant)

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection
- Municipality of Delta - Police - National Ballet of Canada - North American Life Assurance - North Vancouver Public Library Board - North Vancouver School District #44 - North West Territories - North West Territories Power Corp. - North York Board of Education - Northern Telecom (Feb/94) - NOVA Corp. - Ontario Colleges & Universitiess Faculty Association - Ontario Federation of Labour - Ontario Hospital Association* - Ontario Hydro3,14 - Ontario Institute for Studies in Education3 - Ontario Public Interest Research Group6 - Oracle Corp. - Ottawa Board of Education - Ottawa Citizen3 - Oxfam Canada16 - Pacific Press (publisher, Vancouver Sun) - Paramount (Canada) - Pink Triangle Press - Pollution Probe Foundation - Province of British Columbia12 - Province of New Brunswick (Mar/93) - Province of Nova Scotia - Province of Ontario3,7 (Dec/90) - Public Service Alliance of Canada - Region of Ottawa/Carlton (Aug/92) - Regional Municipality of Kitchener / Waterloo - Riverdale Hospital - Royal Ontario Museum - Ryerson Polytechnic - Ryerson Polytechnic Students' Union - Saint Stephens House (Toronto) - Sears - Shell Canada - Sony - Southam Publishing - Stentor Resource Centre Inc - Superannuated Teachers of Ontario - Telecable Videotron (St Hubert & Levis) - Toronto Anglican Diocese - Toronto Dominion Bank - Toronto Board of Education (Aug/93) - Toronto Hospital - Toronto Hydro (July/90) - Toronto Public Libraries6 - Toronto Star - Toronto Sun - Toronto Transit Commission - Tri Star - United Church of Canada (1992) - United Way of the Lower Mainland17 - Universal - University of BC12 (Jan/90) - University of Guelph - University of OttawaI3 - University of Torontol,2 (Feb/91) - University of Waterloo - University of Western Ont - University of Windsor8 - Vancouver Community College5 - Vancouver Mental Patients Assn Society5 - Vancouver Public Libraries - Vancouver School Board5 - Viacom - Walt Disney Co. - Warner Bros. (Jun/93) - Wellesley Hospital, Toronto (Jun/91) - Wilfrid Laurier University - York County Hospital (Dec/92) - York University - YMCA (Toronto) - YWCA (Toronto) - Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa - Yukon Territory (Apr/90) *member hospitals or health organizations

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CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection
Insurance Carriers 1 Blue Cross 2 Canada Life 3 Confederation Life Insurance Co. 4 Crown Life Ins. Co 5 CU & C Health & Services Soc 6 CUMBA 7 Great West Life Assurance Company (Winnipeg) 8 Green Shield Pre-Paid Services 9 La Mutuelle SSQ 10 London Life Ins. Co. 11 Maritime Medical Care Inc. 12 Medical Services Ass'n (MSA) 13 Metropolitan Life 14 Prudential 15 Standard Life Assurance Co. 16 Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada (to companies with more than 100-125 employees) 17 The Coles Group 18 Mutual Group Some employers with parallel pension plans: Bank of Montreal Bell Canada BC Hydro Northern Telecom Province of Ontario Scotia Bank

CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario: The Spousal Collection
Some excerpts about estimated costs June 1992 Bernard Dussault, acting chief actuary for the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions in Ottawa says that, if LGBs were 10% of the population and all were in relationships and claimed benefits, giving them survivor benefit payouts would add 1.5% to the overall cost of the Canada Pension Plan, that is 0.0008 percent of the salary of each contributor. Ottawa-Carleton's regional government extends spousal coverage to employees in same-sex couples; estimated cost increase to premiums 0.5-1.5% Hewitt Associates state that the average cost increase of including same-sex spouses in medical and dental claims would be " a little less than 1%, based on a workforce of 2000 people, 5% of whom are gay and 2.5% of whom are in same-sex relationships. They agree with the Wyatt Company that changes in the Income Tax Act would produce no significant increase in costs for company pension plans (possibly 0.5-1%). After its retreat, and after a CLGRO sit-in in Bob Rae's office, the Ontario NDP government announces that they will proceed in the spring with (unspecified) legislation to ensure same-sex spousal status at work. Media coverage stresses the cost to employers, but in fact this is estimated at less than 1% of payroll and in any case LGBs already pay the deductions - effectively we have been subsidizing heterosexual relationships for a good many years. Ontario treasurer Floyd Laughren is quoted in the G&M as saying that SSSB is affordable; he estimates the cost increase of providing same-sex spousal benefits at 0.01%. The G& M (April 7) supplies "the going estimate seems to be one-tenth of one per cent of the cost of corporate and government benefits." Dan McCaw, president of William M Mercer consultants in Toronto, estimates the cost increase of providing same-sex spousal benefits at less than 0.05%. Margot Gibb-Clark in a June 8 Globe and Mail article points out that, typically, less than I% of employees claim SSSB, therefore SSSB will costs half of I% of payroll. A June 16 letter points out that medical and dental benefits are generally 5-7% of payroll and 5% of 1% is only five hundredths of a per cent, not half. IBM will provide same-sex spousal benefits as of October. BC Telecom (10,000 employees) proposes to include SSSB in a two-year contract yet to be ratified; company VP Paul Smith says cost will be minimal. At Ontario Hydro, fewer than 20 of their current 22,500 employees (around 0.08%) have signed up for same-sex benefits; 12 out of 700 (1.7%) at The Globe & Mail, less than 1% of staff at Sick Kids. A director of the public service health and dental plans estimates SSSBs adding about 0.05% to total plan costs (viz. $1.8-3.7 million) and that 1-2% of employees will apply. This seems high in the light of everyone else's experience.125

August 1992 Feb 1993

Feb 1994

April 1994

June 1994 June 1994

June 1994

June 1996

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