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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 1970s


January 23 Saskatoon
Two hundred and fifty attended a debate sponsored by the U of S Students’ Debating Society entitled Gay is Good for God and Man. Peter Millard and Beth Foster spoke for the motion. The Rev. Michael Horban and Hetty Clews spoke against. There were gasps when Millard, a tenured professor of English, identified himself as gay.
[Diana Rogers, “Gay, God, man (and woman) in sexual battle,” The Sheaf, (January 29 1974) p. 3.]
February 11 Winnipeg
Richard North and Chris Vogel were married by a Unitarian—Universalist minister.
February 20-23 Saskatoon
Boys in the Band poster Gateway Players presented a production of The Boys in the Band, Mart Crowley’s groundbreaking play about a group of gay men in New York City. The play was directed by Ian C. Nelson and Ron Jevons. Some local activists decried what they saw as the play’s unliberated stereotypes of dysfunctional homosexuals. In a letter of protest Peter Millard called it “Agony in the closet.”
[Peter Millard, “Misfacts,” The Sheaf, (February 20 1974) p. 11.]
March 12 Saskatoon
The Western Producer, the weekly farm newspaper, refused to print a classified ad from the ZFS. The same ad had been printed in the StarPhoenix for almost two yearswithout a problem. The Society filed a complaint with the SHRC and the complaint was investigated. The Commission ruled that the ad refusal was not a breach of the Human Rights Code because sexual orientation was not included in the act. This was one of the first times that a Canadian human rights commission actively investigated a complaint of anti-gay discrimination.
[“Prairie paper won’t print ad,” The Body Politic, no. 14 (1974) p. 4.]
April 25 Regina
Saskatoon MLA John Richards (Independent Socialist) presented a petition to the legislature calling for the inclusion of sexual orientation in human rights legislation and the next day asked Attorney-General Roy Romanow the government’s intentions. Romanow replied that the government was considering the matter but had not made a decision.
[“Gay rights in legislature,” Gay West (Saskatoon), no. 1 (1974) p. 4.]
May Saskatoon
SGA and the ZFS established a legal defence fund for Darlene Case, a local lesbian involved in a custody battle for her two children. At the time there was no Canadian precedent for a LG parent gaining or retaining child custody. In his judgment (Court of Queen’s Bench. Case v Case - July 1974) Justice McPherson wrote “I greatly fear that if these children are raised with their mother, they will be too much in contact with people of abnormal tastes and proclivities.”
[“Defence fund established,” Gay West, no. 1 (1974) p. 1.]
May 18-19 Saskatoon
SGA hosted the first conference of Prairie gay activists. Delegates attended from Winnipeg and Edmonton to discuss electoral strategies, counseling, the role of lesbians and community cooperation.
[“Western gays hold conference,” The Body Politic, no. 14 (1974) p. 4.]
November Saskatoon
Attorney-General Roy Romanow told a bear pit session of the Saskatchewan Association on Human Rights that “we should move slowly in some areas of human rights as there may be a backlash.”
[“Protection for gay people,” The Sheaf, (November 15 1974)]