Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Chretien Gets Honored By Gay Group

365Gay.com, November 22, 2004
US Gay Rights Group Honors Former Canadian Prime Minister
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien will be honored for his role in helping secure recognition of same-sex couples in Canada.

Chretien legislated some of the most inclusive rights for gay and
lesbian couples in the world, stopping just short of full marriage
rights. After courts in Ontario and British Columbia legalized same-sex
marriage in those provinces Chretien announced that the government would
bring in legislation to extend that across Canada. The draft bill is
currently before the country's Supreme Court.

Chretien will receive the International Role Model Award from Equality
Forum, a Philadelphia LGBT rights group, on April 29 Independence Hall
in Philadelphia.

"Jean Chretien is an especially worthy candidate. He is a devout
Catholic, who adhered to his public responsibility of equality for all Canadian citizens," said Michele Bogrette, Vice President, Board of Directors of Equality Forum. "With his impetus, most of Canada's
provinces legally sanction same-sex marriage."

Chretien will attend to accept the award and speak about international
GLBT civil rights.

Meanwhile, Equality Forum has singled out 40 other people who have made
significant contributions to advancing LGBT civil rights rights will
honored at a ceremony at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Over 80 organizations and leaders were asked to nominate the Heroes. The
40 people were selected by Equality Forum. The gala will be held on May
1, part of a series of events planned to mark 40 years of the gay rights
movement.

"The organized movement began in Philadelphia on July 4, 1965, in front
of Independence Hall with 40 demonstrators from NY, DC and
Philadelphia," said Sally Susman, National Co-Chair, 40th Anniversary
Celebration. "That demonstration lit a fire that became the global GLBT
civil rights movement we know today."

The Heroes come from politics, entertainment, sports and activist
groups.

"This is an impressive list from Bayard Rustin to Barney Frank, MTV to
Melissa Etheridge, Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin to Kevin Bourassa and Joe
Varnell, Larry Kramer to Andrew Sullivan," stated Malcolm Lazin,
Executive Director, Equality Forum. "In honoring these Heroes we
acknowledge the paths they have paved for our equality."