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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 1980s


Manitoba and Yukon added sexual orientation to their Human Rights Codes.
1987 Prince Albert
The Prince Albert Gay Community Centre closed.
[Perceptions, v. 8 no. 1 (January 17 1990) p. 9.]
February 5-13 Saskatoon
The U of S Drama Department presented a production of John Osborne’s A Patriot for Me. The play is based on the life of Colonel Redl, a homosexual officer in the Austro-Hungarian army who is blackmailed into spying for Tsarist Russia.
[“World of spies, homosexuals overlap in Greystone thriller,” SSP, (January 31 1987) p. A11.]
March 9 Saskatoon
Svend Robinson, MP for Burnaby and NDP justice critic, gave a lecture at the U of S on sexual orientation and human rights. He sought support for his private members’ bill to include sexual orientation in the federal Human Rights Code.
[Perceptions, no. 32 (April 29 1987) p. 9-10. / “Robinson supports homosexuals,” SSP, (March 10 1987) p. B8.]
March 16 Saskatoon
Seventeen lesbians and gay men established the Saskatoon Committee for Gay & Lesbian Rights. The group aimed to lobby for LG rights at both the federal and provincial levels and to encourage activity against the AIDS epidemic.
[Perceptions, no. 32 (April 29 1987) p. 23.]
April Regina
Madeleine (later Madisun) Browne and Mitch Spiralstone resumed the publication of a lesbian newsletter in Regina calling their new publication Second Wave. The newsletter received some financial support from LASS. The first issue reported that a lesbian phone line had been operating in Regina since 1985 with support from the Lavender Social Club.
[Second Wave, v. 1 no. 1 (April 1987)]
April 24-26 Regina
Second Wave announced Just for Us, a weekend lesbian conference featuring workshops and a concert by Noele Hall and Tracey Riley.
[Second Wave, v. 1 no. 1 (April 1987) p. 15.]
May 15 Regina
The Regina Students Homophile Society was established. The small group held weekly drop-ins and coffee houses at the U of R.
[Hockley / Perceptions, no. 34 (July 22 1987) p. 4.]
May 27-28 Saskatoon
A two-day symposium was held at the University Hospital to provide advice on AIDS programs to the provincial government. Provincial Health Minister George McLeod opened the meeting noting that although the province then had only 17 reported cases of AIDS, the disease posed a real danger and that the province’s rural character would not protect it. The delegates recommended that AIDS should be presented as a health problem not as a judgment or result of moral deficiency, and that anti-AIDS campaigns should avoid scare tactics and be based on appeals for personal and social responsibility. The delegates were divided in their views on anonymous testing and mandatory tracing of sexual partners as means of AIDS reduction.
[Perceptions, no. 33 (June 10 1987) p. 24-26. / “Sask to avoid scare tactics, give facts on AIDS: McLeod,” SSP, (May 29 1987) p. A8.]
June 19 Saskatoon
Lucie Blue Tremblay, a rising Canadian star on the women’s concert circuit, performed at Club 23 Below.
[Perceptions, no. 33 (June 10 1987) p. 15.]
June 20 Saskatoon
The annual convention of the Sask NDP debated and passed a resolution establishing a party position on AIDS. The resolution called for the rapid institution of a public education program, financial support for community based groups and their representation on advisory bodies, access by patients to treatments, and the protection of the rights of all affected. The resolution also called for the provision of an anonymous HIV testing procedure to encourage testing among those who might be deterred by the ‘confidential’ system.
[Perceptions, no. 34 (July 22 1987) p. 33.]
July 15-25 Saskatoon
The AKA Gallery presented Better Blatant Than Latent, Dik (later Duncan) Campbell’s exhibition investigating the types of closets inhabited by gay men and their costs.
[Perceptions, no. 34 (July 22 1987) p. 15.]
July 20 Regina
Justice Minister Bob Andrew told reporters that Saskatchewan would not follow Manitoba’s example in providing human rights protections to homosexuals. He declared there were more important problems such “as farmers who cannot pay their bills and are being foreclosed upon.” Ron Kruzeniski, the SHRC chief, stated: “gays should not be discriminated against because of some factor that is not relevant to their getting an education, getting a job or getting a place to rent.”
[Tom Blackwell, “Province won’t push for law protecting homosexuals,” RLP, (July 22 1987) p. A8.]
July 31 - August 2 Saskatoon
AFFIRM, an organization for gays and lesbians in the United Church of Canada, held its annual national conference in Saskatoon. Thirty delegates discussed strategies for the upcoming General Council in Victoria where the ordination of openly gay clergy was to be debated.
[Perceptions, no. 35 (September 9 1987) p. 5.]
August 1 & August 22 Saskatoon
Numbers hosted two benefit drag shows for AIDS Saskatoon. The shows were organized by Rodger Jeffrey (Amii L. Nitrate) and Jim Stevenson with performers from Regina, Saskatoon and Edmonton.
[Perceptions, no. 35 (September 9 1987) p. 22.]
August 4 Saskatoon
City Councillor Morris Chernesky declared that Saskatoon should institute mandatory testing for HIV, starting with municipal employees. “I would like to know who does and doesn’t have AIDS.” Another councillor Pat Lorje enquired whether Chernesky was having sex with city employees. Dr. Paul Gully, Saskatoon’s medical officer, stated that such testing would probably be illegal and likely to discourage responsible sexual behavior.
[Deanna Herman, “At-risk groups would shun mandatory testing: MD,” SSP, (August 5 1987) p. A8.]
August 15 Regina
AIDS Regina’s first executive director Nils Clausson hosted an open house at its first office at 2221– 4th Street East. The group had received a $58,150 grant from the federal Health Department for AIDS education and prevention programs.
[Perceptions, no. 35 (September 9 1987) p .32.]
September 14 Regina
After repeated attempts, the GCR Human Rights Committee was finally able to schedule a meeting with Justice Minister Bob Andrew. Andrew did not show up at the scheduled meeting but sent a ministerial assistant to listen to the group’s representatives.
[Perceptions, no. 36 (October 21 1987) p. 3-4.]
September 27 Saskatoon
Gary Kinsman, a member of the Toronto Rites collective and the Canadian Committee against Customs Censorship, gave a talk entitled Sexuality, Images and Censorship at the Photographer’s Gallery..
[Perceptions, no. 35 (September 9 1987) p. 19.]
October Saskatoon
Perceptions published an article on the Narrow Way, a Christian group whose advertisements in the StarPhoenix offered to “break the chains of gayness.”
[Perceptions, no. 36 (October 21 1987) p. 8.]
October 1 Saskatoon
AIDS Saskatoon opened its first office at 309–220 3rd Avenue South after receiving federal funding of $66,253 and a supplemental grant of $7,000 from the province.
[Perceptions, no. 36 (October 21 1987) p. 30.]
October 9-12 Saskatoon
Metamorphosis celebrated its 10th anniversary with keynote speaker Yvette Perreault, co-author of Stepping Out of Line: A Workbook on Lesbianism and Feminism. Entertainment included Jitterbug Perfume, Tracey Riley and Deb Roemyn.
[Perceptions, no. 35 (September 9 1987) p. 6-7.]
October 10 Saskatoon
Regina writer Jean Hillabold launched Secrets of the Invisible World, a collection of lesbian short stories at the 1987 Metamorphosis festival. A second revised and expanded edition by was published by Lilith Publications in 1988. This book and most of her other lesbian and erotic writings have been published under the nom de plume Jean Roberta.
October 16-17 Saskatoon
Homosexuality was a focus of a weekend conference of Victorious Women, an organization connected to defeated PC MLA Gay Caswell. Conference speakers included Vonda Kowslowski of the Committee to Defend the Family, John Caswell (husband to Gay), who as a former hospital orderly suggested an AIDS cover-up, and Saskatchewan Pro-Life President Tom Schuck who argued that equality for gays would be discrimination against Christians. The conference presented its Woman of the Year Award to Chantel Devine, wife of the premier, for “her work on behalf of the family” and a Pro Family award to Saskatchewan Minister of Human Services Grant Schmidt who was cited for his opposition to gay adoption.
[Perceptions, no. 37 (December 1 1987) p. 3-5. / “Sexual orientation laws ‘endorse immorality’,” SSP, (October 19 1987) p. C12.]
October 29 Regina
Grant Schmidt stated, “I do not believe any homosexual should be allowed to adopt children in this province.” Opposition NDP Social Services critic Glenn Hagel replied that Schmidt’s comments expressed “an intolerance that is simply not acceptable in a free society.”
[“Homosexuals in Saskatchewan can’t adopt children says Schmidt,” Prince Albert Daily Herald, (October 30 1987) p. 13. / “Denying gays right to adopt may violate charter: prof,” SSP, (October 30 1987) p. A3.]
October 30 Regina
Grant Schmidt called homosexuality “a deviant lifestyle” and drawing an analogy of to thieves maintained that employers should have the right not to hire homosexuals. “Would you want to have a confirmed thief on the premises?” Schmidt also claimed that it was unlikely that a gay couple could form a Christian home.
[Earl Fowler, “Employers entitled to reject gays, Schmidt claims,” SSP, (October 31 1987) p. A1.]
November 1 Saskatoon
The Coalition for Human Equality (CHE) was formed to respond to homophobic comments by Grant Schmidt. The group’s long term goals were to amend provincial human rights legislation, to support federal Charter developments, and to provide public education on human rights issues relating to lesbians and gays. The next day the group held a press conference with spokespersons Erin Shoemaker and Peter Millard. Millard declared, “asking Grant Schmidt to be Minister of Social Services was like asking Idi Amin to head Amnesty International.”
[Perceptions, no. 37 (December 1 1987) p. 3-5, 30-31. / “Schmidt’s critics fear retribution, SSP, (November 3 1987) p. A3.]
November 18 Saskatoon
A comedy performance at Louis’s Pub at the U of S by comedy duo Lambert and James prompted a complaint by student Shawn Mooney to the University’s Sexual Harassment officer. Mooney and others had found the group’s performance homophobic. The director of Place Riel initially refused to include homophobia in the Place Riel screening policy for live acts although it did at the time forbid racism and sexism. The policy was eventually amended in the spring of 1988.
[Perceptions, no. 39 (February 24 1988) p. 30. / Perceptions, no. 42 (June 29 1988) p. 6. / “Place Riel ignoring homosexual rights; new group claims,” SSP, (March 4 1988) p. A8.]
November 24 Regina and Saskatoon
Simultaneous news conferences were held to protest the antigay rhetoric of the Conservative government. Regina speakers included Kerry Barrett of the GCR, Ron Kruzeniski of the SHRC, and representatives of the SFL, the Regina Civil Liberties Association and the Saskatchewan Action Committee on the Status of Women. Speakers in Saskatoon included Peter Millard of CHE, Rev. Frederick Sellers of the United Church, Dr. Myles Genest of the U of S Psychology Department and poet Patrick Lane.
[Perceptions, no. 37 (December 1 1987) p. 30-31. / “Sask red-necked, cruel province,” SSP, (November 25 1987) p. A3.]
November 27 Saskatoon
The Saskatchewan Association for Responsible Conduct was established to “scrutinize prostitution and homosexuality.” Members included physician Dr. Art Hindmarsh, Dr. Chris Gerrard, head of the Association of Independent Church Schools and Rev. Eldon Boldt of Circle Drive Alliance Church.
[“Responsible conduct group set up,” SSP, (November 27 1987) p. A3.]
November 27 Saskatoon
Brazen Huzzy Concert Productions presented a Saskatchewan Women’s Night at Club 23 Below. Performers included Brenda Baker, Donna Caruso, Noele Hall and Jan Harvey.
[Event flyer – SAB NR]
December Saskatoon
GLSS terminated their phone line and other activities due to a lack of volunteers.
[Perceptions, no. 37 (December 1 1987) p. 16.]
December Saskatoon
The PWA (Persons With AIDS) Network of Saskatoon was established with the goals of supporting persons affected by AIDS, promoting positive attitudes, and casting off of the role of victims.
[Perceptions, no. 37 (December 1 1987) p. 23.]