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Canadian Gay-Marriage Case Filed

New Brunswick Mayor Ordered to Proclaim Pride Weekend

ILGA Conference Set for South Africa

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

Canadian Gay-Marriage Case Filed

gaycanada.gif - 9.62 KTwo Montreal men who have been a couple for 25 years filed suit September 14 demanding the right to marry.

Gay activist Michael Hendricks, 57, and his lover, Rene Leboeuf, 43, submitted their case after Quebec Superior Court Assistant Clerk Louise Lebrun rejected their application for a marriage license at the city's license office.

"In concrete terms, it'll give us recognition," Hendricks said. "We'll be able to share our pensions and of course the inheritance. If I pass on, he'll be left with nothing. If we're married then we'll be covered and assured."

The case likely will advance up to the federal Supreme Court -- a process that could take several years.

"We're young enough for that," Hendricks told the Canadian Press wire service.

The lawsuit claims Quebec's marriage law violates the province's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which has banned discrimination based on sexual orientation since 1967. The couple's lawyer will also argue that Quebec has no right to decide who can marry whom because marriage falls under federal jurisdiction.

The Superior Court case will be heard beginning December15.

New Brunswick Mayor Ordered to Proclaim Pride Weekend

canada3.gif - 5.29 KFredericton, New Brunswick, Mayor Brad Woodside was ordered to proclaim Gay Pride Weekend by a provincial Board of Inquiry September 17.

The board said Woodside violated the provincial Human Rights Act's ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation when he refused to declare Pride Weekend in 1995.

"They [gays and lesbians] are simply seeking to exercise their right to be equal members of the community as they are entitled to do by law," wrote commissioner Brian Bruce.

Woodside responded: "Contrary to what was said in this [ruling] - - that gay pride is widely accepted in North America -- that's not the case. I wouldn't consider Toronto and Vancouver to be the standard we all try to live by."

Fredericton Lesbian and Gays spokesman James Whitehead told Canadian Press: "It's very frustrating when someone can turn something that seems so simple to begin with into something so divisive. There's been a lot of damage done."

Recent identical cases in London, Ontario, and Hamilton, Ontario, saw the same outcome except the mayors of those cities were also fined -- $5,000 in Hamilton and $10,000 in London. Woodside was not fined.

ILGA Conference Set for South Africa

The International Lesbian and Gay Association will stage its 1999 world conference in Johannesburg, South Africa in September.

ILGA is a federation of more than 350 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered organizations from six continents.

The conference organizing committee consists of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, South Africa's Gay and Lesbian Organisation of Witwatersrand and National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality, and Namibia's Rainbow Project.

ILGA is seeking a conference organizer to work in Johannesburg from this October until next September, full-time some months and part-time in others. For more information, fax 011-27-11-487-1670 or e-mail

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