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Saskatchewan Resources for Sexual Diversity

Celebrating a History of Diversity:

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

The 1980s


1986 Toronto
Ontario amended its Human Rights Code to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
January 22 and 29 Saskatoon
GLUS and the Saskatoon Public Library presented a film series Equality for All that included The Life and Times of Harvey Milk, Pink Triangles and In the Best Interest of the Children.
[Perceptions, no. 21 (1986) p. 7.]
January 27 Regina
AIDS Regina was incorporated. The organization issued its first newsletter in June 1986. The group eventually evolved into the organization AIDS Programs South Saskatchewan, which still operates at the date of this compilation.
[Perceptions, no. 34 (July 22 1987) p. 5.]
February Battleford
Our Family, a Catholic monthly published by the Oblate Fathers, printed a lengthy feature article titled “A Psychoanalytic Look at Homosexuality and AIDS” authored by Dr. Melvin Anchell. The decision of editor Father Albert Lalonde to publish the article was criticized in several letters that complained of the article’s inaccuracies, stereotypes and intolerant tone. In response to much protest, including a letter of opposition from the SHRC, the Oblate Provincial Father Gerald Wiesner made a retraction. In the October 1986 issue he apologized “for the over-all tone of the article, for its one-sided compassion, and for its crude and unaesthetic quality.” Wiesner stated that the article could “easily lead to distortion of fact, and potentially foster hatred and discrimination.”
[Perceptions, no. 23 (1986) p. 11-12. / “A letter from the publisher” Our Family, v. 37 no.9 (October1986) p. 38. / “Firing of editor sparks dispute,” SSP, (February 25 1987) p. A10.]
February 12 Saskatoon
A. A. Bronson and Felix Partz of the celebrated Toronto art collective General Idea presented a selection from their video works at the Mendel Gallery.
[Perceptions, no. 21 (1986) p. 15.]
March Regina
The GCR established a human rights committee with a mandate to achieve equal legal status for lesbians and gays. The committee was chaired by a former GCR president Kerry Barrett. The group conducted a letter writing campaign to federal MPs and sent a petition with 500 signatures to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. In April the committee presented a policy paper to the annual convention of the Saskatchewan Government Employees’ Union. This was adopted and the SGEU amended its own constitution to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Committee also authored and lobbied for resolutions passed by the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, the Canadian Labour Congress and the National Union of Provincial Government Employees.
[Perceptions, no. 36 (October 21 1987) p. 3-4.]
April 23 Saskatoon
A committee met at the home of Roger Carriere to approve bylaws, elect the first officers and to discuss objectives for AIDS Saskatoon. The organization has continued to operate up to the date of this compilation.
[Perceptions, no. 23 (1986) p. 31.]
April 27 Regina
The Regina Public Library Film Theatre presented a documentary series on women including In the Best Interest of the Children, a film examining the challenges faced by lesbians in keeping and raising their children.
[Perceptions, no. 23 (1986) p. 7.]
May 12 Saskatoon
REAL (Realistic, Equal, Active for Life) Women held a public event hosted by their Saskatchewan representative Cecilia Forsyth. Gwen Landolt, one of Real Women’s national founders, addressed the meeting. A literature table included pamphlets calling homosexuality a psychological disorder, describing homosexuals as a medical threat, and stating that a goal of the gay rights movement was to seduce the young.
[Perceptions, no. 24 (1986) p. 23, 25.]
May Saskatoon
GLSS held its first dance at the Parktown Hotel’s disco. The event was a great success attracting over 270 and the Parktown became the venue of choice for LG /AIDS fundraising dances. The events were very lucrative for the sponsoring organizations but the hotel management complained that gays arrived too late on event nights limiting the profit from bar sales. The hotel later became reluctant to rent to gay groups citing the problem with liquor revenue and concerns that the club was becoming known as a gay venue.
[Perceptions, no. 35 (September 9 1987) p. 13.]
June Saskatoon
The Saskatchewan Archives Board accepted the donation of a large collection dealing with the history of lesbians and gays in Saskatchewan and Canada. The Neil Richards Fonds includes newspaper clippings, newsletters and flyers, posters, organizational records, and subject files. The collection has been supplemented by subsequent donations.
[Perceptions, no. 25 (1986) p. 20, 22.]
June 29 Saskatoon
GLSS moved its office to the Community Aid Resource Centre at 136 Avenue F South.
[Perceptions, no. 25 (1986) p. 10.]
July 23 - 26 Saskatoon
Over 1200 Mennonites meeting in Saskatoon debated whether homosexuality is a sin. A resolution asking that a place for gays and lesbians be found within Mennonite congregations was hotly debated. The motion was overwhelmingly defeated. Lynn Keenan, a lesbian delegate from Denver, said it was long overdue to raise the issue in the church.
[“Mennonites reject homosexual issue,” SSP, (July 26 1986) p. A8.]
September Saskatoon
Father Mike Macdonald sought others interested in forming a chapter of Dignity, the international organization of gay and lesbian Catholics.
[Perceptions, no. 26 (1986) p. 10.]
Fall Saskatoon
Brazen Huzzy was established to promote the work of female performers in Saskatoon. The group presented several concerts in 1987 and 1988 .The group also organized women’s dances to raise funds to subsidize the concert events.
[Perceptions, no. 40 (April 13 1988) p. 21.]
October 10-12 Saskatoon
The 1986 Metamorphosis weekend included guest speaker Eilert Frerichs, University of Toronto chaplain, and a film program at the Place Riel Theatre. The concert featured musicians Kris Purdy and David Ramsden and Toronto comic Sheila Gostick.
[Perceptions, no. 26 (1986) p. 14.]
October 20
Grant Devine’s Conservative party lost the popular vote in the province’s general election but maintained office. LG activists were encouraged by the significantly larger NDP opposition of 25 MLAs (most from urban constituencies) who were viewed as potentially more sympathetic to LG goals.