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Advocacy: Events in 2002
Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell are available for speaking engagements customized to the needs of audiences and organizations. Arrangements and bookings are managed by:
Please email other requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Scotia Rainbow Action Project
Nova Scotia - The Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project has been active in working
for equal recognition of GLBT relationships. Our discussion with this group will
focus on the progress that has been made towards equality through activisim and
advocacy and the work that remains as we remove the final barriers to our full
place as citizens.
School of Theology
Halifax, Nova Scotia - Recent victories for same-sex marriage in Ontario and Quebec court are based on the precedent of past victories in the Supreme Court of Canada. In a presentation open to the public, we will discuss how the legal process has delivered our rights and freedoms when politicians and government refused to apply the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms equally, to all citizens.
presentation is sponsored by the Dalhousie Law School Law Hour Committee. Thanks
to Lara Morris, Blye Frank, Dave Steeves (Law School) and the Social Activist
Law Student Association (SALSA)
for this opportunity.
Saint Vincent University
Halifax, Nova Scotia - Mount Saint Vincent University has a history of providing opportunities for women at a time when women were not recognized as "persons" under Canadian law. Our case shares characteristics with the struggle of the Famous Five in Canada, and people around the world who have had to fight to exercise their full rights as persons under the law of their land. Our presentation From Persons To Family will explore how our marriage case has reopened discussion about constitutional personhood. It's free and open to the public!
Saint Vincent University
to Lara Morris, Ann Vibert (MSVU) and the sponsorship of the Women's
Studies Department, Department
of Education and MSVU
Queer/Straight Alliance for this opportunity.
DalOUT - Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia - Join us on the campus of Dalhousie University for a free public discussion about same-sex marriage. We will talk about the issues raised in our book, Just Married: Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human Rights, perhaps do a reading from the book, and engage in a Q&A session to finish the evening.
to Doriane Mullin, Frank Blye and Lara Morris for this opportunity.
Allison University - Owens Art Gallery
Sackville, New Brunswick - Join us at the historic Owens Art Gallery, under the sponsorship of Mount Allison University, for a discusion about same-sex marriage. We'll do a reading from our book, discuss some of the issues, share future plans, and respond to questions. Get engaged!
will join Professor Andrew Nurse and his Canadian Studies class on November
Thanks to Eldon Hay, Melody
Petlock, Arthur Motyer and Alasdair MacLean for this opportunity.
of New Brunswick - Saint John
Saint John, New Brunswick - We will be appearing in Hazen Hall on the Saint John campus of the University of New Brunswick to discuss issues raised in our book, Just Married: Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human Rights.
reception (RSVP email@example.com)
to Leslie Jeffrey and SarahRose Werner for this opportunity, Mark McGovern for
transportation, UNBSJ for our hotel, and Nancy Johnston (GLBTQ)
of New Brunswick - Faculty of Law
Fredericton - Recent victories for same-sex marriage in Ontario and Quebec court are based on the precedent of past victories in the Supreme Court of Canada. In a presentation open to the public, we will discuss the incremental steps that have brought us to the threshold of same-sex marriage, the specifics of our case, and the remaining last step that must be taken in order to end government's marriage discrimination.
4 - 7:00 p.m.
Dean La Forest will host a reception afterwards with cash bar.
to Dean Anne La Forest and Kristen Rudderham for this opportunity.
Fredericton, N.B. - We will be joining students, enrolled in a human rights class, at St. Thomas University for a discussion about same-sex marriage. The invitation to this liberal arts institution comes, with our sincere appreciation, from the Rev. Dr. Michael McGowan, Assistant Professor of Human Rights and Catholic Studies, Director of Atlantic Human Rights Centre, and Director of Catholic Studies Programme.
Our gratitude to Richard Blaquiere for producing this tour.
Unitarian Fellowship of Fredericton
It seems appropriate for us to begin our Atlantic tour with the Unitarian Fellowship of Fredericton. Some of our earliest support for equal marriage came from Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed and the First Unitarian Church of Toronto.
Starting at 7:00 p.m., this informal evening is open to the public. We'll talk about our journey, do a reading from Just Married: Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human Rights, and join participants in a discussion about same-sex marriage.
Fellowship of Fredericton
Thanks to Haifa Miller and Tracey Rickards for this invitation and Ed Leslie for tansportation from Moncton! Our gratitude to Richard Blaquiere for producing this tour.
discussion on marriage
With great pleasure, we accepted an invitation from the University of New Hampshire and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) to participate in a moderated panel discussion on civil unions and same-sex marriage. The discussion was part of the university's participation in National Coming Out Week. We brought our Canadian perspective and experience, and learned from fellow panelists from New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Shay Zeller, New Hampshire Public Radio, was our excellent moderator, bringing her wit, cheerfulness and insight to the evening's proceedings. The discussion included: Beth McGuinn and Lisa Beelle, New Hampshire Freedom to Marry, and Dr. Valerie Fein-Zachary, Co-chair, The Freedom to Marry Coalition of Massachusetts with the group's Volunteer Political Director, Joshua Friedes.
Getting the message out: Lisa Beelle(New Hampshire Freedom to Marry) talks about branding and marketing with Joe Varnell (photo at right). We picked up a "NHFTM" t-shirt for our collection.
On October 10 we participated in a policy class, sponsored by Martha Byam, Department of Social Work.
We thank Robert Coffey, Jr., LGBT Program Coordinator, OMSA, for this invitation, and the University of Wisconsin Press for facilitation.
September 18, 2002
We will be discussing gay marriage with members of the North Scarborough Rotary Club at a private luncheon.
Since the publication of our book Just Married, we've received enquiries about speaking engagements from across Canada, the United States and Europe. Our literary agent (Jackie Kaiser, Westwood Creative Artists) anticipated this demand a year ago when she sent us to Martin Perlmutter, President of Speakers' Spotlight.
Whether it's astronauts or actors, politicians or professors, olympians or orchestra conductors ... Speakers' Spotlight has it all on offer. So why not human rights activists too?
Starting this month, Speakers' Spotlight will act as our agent for speaking engagements. Our availability for non-profit organizations will not be impacted by this agreement. This arrangement will enable us to increase our advocacy work in new areas and sustain our work on existing initiatives. Most of all, we look forward to the networking and outreach that we know will result from our association with this leading agency.
Speakers' Spotlight joins a distinguished team of representatives, bringing professional expertise to our uncharted and unique circumstances.
Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell
Unified Northern Pride Parade - Sudbury, Ontario
August 10, 2002 - We continued our advocacy work for same-sex marriage by visiting northern Ontario's mining community of Sudbury for their fifth pride parade. Northern Ontario is key to our struggle for equal marriage. We hope to visit more communities in this area in the coming months to build support for gay marriage. Our first visit left a lasting and warm impression of a vibrant LGBT community gaining visibility
Thanks to Kelly Landry (Chair of Northern Pride) and Mario Dopmingue, (organizer, Northern Pride) for this invitation and to the wonderful people at the Art Gallery of Sudbury for their hospitality!
Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell
Vancouver Pride Parade
We had an amazing time in Vancouver marching with Multi Union Pride and fellow marriage advocates including, Robin Roberts & Diana Denny and Bob Peacock and Lloyd Thornhill from the BC Marriage case,. and Bill Dubay (Legal Marriage Alliance of Washington). Thanks to all for a great experience!
Bourassa and Joe Varnell
Windsor Pride Parade
On behalf of the Windsor Pride Committee, I would like to extend a special invitation to all involved in the Equal Marriage fight. The Windsor Community is a big supporter of your fight and it would be an honour to have your presence at our event.
This year is Windsorís 10th Anniversary Pride Celebration. Our celebrations are from July 21st through the 28th, the 28th being Pride Day and our Parade through Downtown Windsor.
I'm offering you a place of honour in Windsor and I would hope that you seriously consider it. We will make special arrangements for you and/or your friends and I can guarantee that the city of Windsor will welcome you with open arms.
Yours in Pride,
London Pride Parade
Our visit to London confirmed how important same-sex marriage is to couples, and we learned how individuals have been inspired and transformed by the work of the many advocates fighting for equality. But there is still much work to be done. People, inspired by church and state, feelt compelled to bring faith-based signs in attempt to insult the dignity and respect of the day. Our "morally offensive" photograph on the front page of the London Free Press provoked angry responses from readers.
Toronto Pride Parade - March for Marriage
The soaring temperatures didn't wilt the higher spirits of those who gathered to support same-sex marriage in this year's Toronto Pride parade. Crowds cheered us on, waving, shouting, and flashing "thumbs up" and "victory" signs with their hands. Before long, everyone on the float was on their feet responding to the crowds in a first of many pride marches to come.
Please help us pay for the important advocacy project. Donations can be made payable to:
Equal Marriage Pride
Partnerships and Parenting
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