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Gay Pride Flag Saskatchewan Resources for Sexual Diversity
Saskatchewan Resources for Sexual Diversity

Celebrating a History of Diversity:

Lesbian and Gay Life in Saskatchewan, 1971 - 2006
A Selected Annotated Chronology

The 2000s


January Saskatoon
GLHS received $47,500 from the federal Justice Department, and a supplemental grant of $10,000 from SaskCulture, to reach out to LGBT youth in the province.
[Perceptions, v. 21 no. 1(January 22 2003) p. 19.]
January 3 Toronto
A Maclean’s-Global TV national poll reported significant support for same-sex marriage. Support was highest in Quebec at 65% and BC at 54%. Support in Manitoba/Saskatchewan was 42%.
[Rick Mofina,“ Canadians more tolerant of gay couples,” RLP, (January 3 2003) p. A1.]
February 10-11 Regina
Bill Whatcott appeared before a human rights tribunal headed by Prince Albert lawyer Anil Pandila to answer complaints he had discriminated against lesbians and gays when he distributed pamphlets in Regina and Saskatoon. The pamphlets claimed “sodomites” are three times more likely to sexually abuse children and that “homosexuals want to share their filth and propaganda with Saskatchewan’s children.” Complainants were Kathy Hamre and Brenden Wallace from Regina and James Komar and Guy Taylor from Saskatoon.
[Perceptions, v. 21 no. 2 (March 5 2003) p. 10. / “Barb Pacholik, “Whatcott faces human rights tribunal,” RLP, (February 11 2003) p. B1.]
March North Battleford
The Canada Family Action Coalition claimed to have distributed 7,500 pamphlets opposing Bill C-250, the federal bill to extend hate crimes protection to lesbians and gays. The campaign was endorsed by the Living Faith Chapel but was questioned by leaders of the local United Church and Anglican congregations.
[Perceptions, v. 21 no. 2 (March 5 2003) p. 19.]
March 5 Saskatoon
Perceptions celebrated its 20th year of publishing, a record for a LG magazine in Canada.
[Perceptions, v. 21 no. 2 (March 5 2003)]
March 18 Saskatoon
Saskatchewan’s first Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) at Mount Royal Collegiate held its initial meeting attended by 19 students and teachers. At the second meeting students decided to place a GSA question box at the front of the school and to make posters to accompany the display of answers.
[Perceptions, v. 21 no. 3 (April 16 2003) p. 12.]
March 28 Saskatoon
Over 700 attended The Christ Who Breaks the Boundaries of Prejudice, a University of Saskatchewan Special Lecture presented by retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong. The noted liberal theologian examined arguments used by religious people to discriminate and questioned whether they had a sound basis in Christian thought. This lecture at Knox United Church was the largest public event dealing with LG issues held in Saskatoon up to the date of this compilation.
[“Spong said church has to break down its prejudices,” Saskatchewan Bulletin (STF), (April 16 2003) p. 2.]
April Saskatoon
The Professional Development Unit of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation produced a resource manual on homophobia titled Safe Schools: Breaking the Silence on Sexual Difference.
[Perceptions, v. 21 no. 3 (April 16 2003) p. 8.]
April Saskatoon
Gens Hellquist was appointed to the Saskatoon Police Advisory Committee on Diversity and Constable Bernard Farbacher was appointed official police liaison to the LG community. The committee developed a diversity program that saw all Saskatoon police officers and employees receiving training on LG issues.
[Perceptions, v. 21 no. 3 (April 16 2003) p. 19.]
April 3 Moose Jaw
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights visited Moose Jaw and heard seven presentations on the recognition of same-sex marriage.
[“Federal committee on same-sex marriage holds meeting in city,” Moose Jaw Times- Herald, (April 5 2003) p. 3.]
April 25 Saskatoon
McNally Robinson Booksellers launched Amuse Bouche, Anthony Bidulka’s initial mystery novel featuring Russell Quandt, Saskatoon’s first and only gay gumshoe.
[Perceptions, v. 21 no. 3 (April 16 2003) p. 14. / Ted Hainworth, “First-rate mystery…by any standards,” SSP, (May 10 2003) p. E20.]
June 3 Saskatoon
GLHS released a document entitled The Human Cost of Homophobia which indicated that 5,500Canadians die prematurely each year as a result of homophobia. Dr. Ross Findlater, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, stated that the assumption that all health problems in the queer community result from homophobia “is a pretty big leap of faith.” Findlater later acknowledged that his comments were ill-informed and sent the report to all medical health officers in the province.
[Perceptions, v. 21 no. 5 (July 23 2003) p. 12. / Silas Polkinghorne, “Homophobia kills,” SSP, (June 4 2003) p. A3.]
June 10 Toronto
The Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the July 12 decision of the Ontario Superior court that the existing common law definition of marriage violated same-sex couples’ equality rights. Immediately after the ruling Michael Leshner and Michael Stark were married in Toronto.
June 17 Ottawa
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announced that the government would not appeal the Ontario provincial court ruling. He promised legislation to legalize same-sex marriage that would also preserve the rights of religious groups to “sanctify marriage as they see it.”
July Saskatoon
Perceptions reported controversy over same-sex marriage. Premier Lorne Calvert said his government had nothing in principle against it but urged LG couples to wait until federal legislation was changed before requesting marriage licenses. Sask Party Justice Critic Ben Heppner said a Sask Party government would join Alberta in opposing any changes: “if need be we would look to the notwithstanding clause.” In June Saskatoon Catholic Bishop Albert LeGatt asked all Catholics to oppose same-sex marriage. Saskatoon Alliance MPs Maurice Vellacott and Lynne Yelich also voiced opposition.
[Bob Harvey, “Legalizing gay unions ‘immoral’: Vatican,” SSP, (August 1 2003) p. A1, A3. / Perceptions, v. 21 no. 5 (July 23 2003) p. 14.]
August Tatamagouche, NS
Rev. Sally Boyle of Saskatoon was given the 2003 Volunteer Award at the annual meeting of AFFIRM United “for her 25 years of work for GLBT rights in the United Church and in society.”
September 13 Regina
Divas 2: The Priscilla Show, a charity drag show by local performers, attracted a full house at the U of R Lazy Owl bar. This GBLUR sponsored show has been held annually since 2001 to 2005.
[SSN, (September 2003)]
September 23 - October 31 Saskatoon
The U of S Archives and Library presented All Frocked Up. Glimpses of Cross-Dressing in Saskatchewan, an exhibition and website documenting the history of cross-dressing as entertainment in the province.
[<> Joanne Paulson, “Gallery uncloaks history of cross-dressing in Sask.” SSP, (September 24 2003) p. A1.]
October 1 Prince Albert
Most candidates running for the Prince Albert Public School Board refused to answer questions on LG issues submitted to them by the Prince Albert and Area Teachers’ Association.
[“Candidates perplexed by questions of a gay theme,” Prince Albert Daily Herald, (October 1 2003) p. 1.]
October 22 Saskatoon
Mayor Jim Maddin was defeated in the 2003 civic election. Maddin had recognized Saskatoon’s LG community by his participation in several public events during his term.
[Perceptions, v. 21 no. 7 (October 22 2003) p. 3.]
October 24 - November 28 Saskatoon
The AKA Gallery presented Winnipeg artist Doug Melnyk’s Adam and Steve, an installation of cut-paper drawings responding to the Christian Right’s assertation that it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.
[Event Flyer – SAB NR]
November 27 Regina
The Vancouver Sun published excerpts from an interview with Larry Spencer, Alliance MP for Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre, in which the MP said that homosexuality should be recriminalized and that a vast gay conspiracy beginning in the 1960s had infiltrated North American life. The next day he was dismissed as the party’s family issues critic and withdrew from the Alliance caucus. Spencer issued an apology stating that his views had been misunderstood. When he was not allowed to contest his riding for the newly formed Conservative party in the 2004 federal election he ran as an independent and finished fourth.
[Perceptions, v. 21 no. 8 (December 21 2003) p. 8. /Perceptions v. 22 no. 5 (July 21 2004) p 20. / Peter O’Neil, “Gay life should be criminal: Regina MP: Says Trudeau was wrong to make it legal,” RLP, (November 27 2003) p. A1. / Sean Gordon, “MP’s words might keep right divided: Tories upset over Spencer’s anti-homosexual remarks,” RLP, (November 28 2003) p. A1.]
U of S historian Dr. Valerie Korinek published an examination of Doug Wilson and his influence in Saskatchewan.
[Valerie Korinek, “‘The Most openly gay person for at least a thousand miles’: Doug Wilson and the politicization of a province, 1975 -1983,” Canadian Historical Review, v. 84 no.4 (Dec 2003) p. 517-550.]
December 19 Toronto
An Ontario court ruled that the federal government had discriminated against same-sex couples by denying Canada Pension Plan benefits to those whose partners had died before 1998. The court ruled that benefits should be retroactive to April 17 1985 when the equality rights of the Canadian Charter came into effect. The federal government appealed this decision.