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A look back at some of 2007’s big queer stories

Don't worry, no Dumbledore on this list

Age of Consent legislation

Take a minute to look back at some Canadian queer stories that made headlines this past year. As promised, we won’t mention a certain fictional character who came out, and let’s just skip over that US Senator who was caught tapping his foot in a bathroom stall.

For more stories from 2007, check out the archives:
National | Ottawa | Toronto | Vancouver

Age of Consent legislation

Bill C-22 — which sought to raise the age of consent from 14 to 16 — passed through the House of Commons in the spring, unopposed by any party and with little input from youth themselves. The bill died by default when Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued Parliament in September, but it was quickly reintroduced as part of an omnibus crime bill during October’s Throne Speech. Worse still: the Tories’ crime bill looks certain to pass through Parliament — a move that would restrict rights of queer youth across the country. Conservative (and some Liberal) MPs refused to amend the bill during justice committee meetings to remove a section of the Criminal Code that sets the age of consent for anal sex at 18, four years higher than all other types of sex.

Jane Rule: 1931 – 2007

We lost an eloquent, courageous friend when Jane Rule died Nov 27 on Galiano Island, British Columbia surrounded by friends and family; she was 76. American by birth and Canadian by choice, Rule’s pioneering work as a writer and activist reached across borders. Read more…

Grassroots queer activism

2007 saw queers across the country making a difference by planning local activism events. In Nova Scotia, two teenagers started an anti-bullying pink t-shirt campaign, which has since spread across the country.

In Ottawa, queers staged a kiss-in against homophobia, and in September, queers organized a monthly takeover of straight bars: guerrilla gay fare.

Censorship: whither freedom of expression?

This fall, concerts by Jamaican dancehall artists were cancelled after complaints about the musicians’ homophobic lyrics. In November, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal ruled that a letter published in a Red Deer newspaper violated the province’s rights code. What effect will these decisions have on freedom of speech? Brenda Cossman, Matt Mills and Marcus McCann tackled the issues of censorship and free expression.


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