NSRAP was formed in 1995 from the ashes of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Nova Scotia, which had been active since the early 1980s but dissolved in 1994. The organization focuses its efforts on local issues, and according to its website, it “believe[s] in working collaboratively throughout the Community and with government, business, institutions and individuals to foster change.”
The organization is staffed largely by volunteers who work on multiple boards and committees, including ones focused on legal affairs, communications, events, health and seniors.
One of the organization’s long-term goals is to establish a Rainbow Community Centre for Nova Scotia.
Aside from lobbying for the community, NSRAP sometimes offers basic legal advice to combat discrimination. Kevin Kindred says the group was active in the case to legalize same-sex marriage in Nova Scotia and with a human rights case that recently resulted in changes to the way birth certificates are registered to lesbian moms.
Kindred says it’s important to have a local organization pushing for queer rights.
“There’s a reason why it’s good for NSRAP to take on those issues rather than nationwide groups to work with local officials and understand the subtleties of what arguments work,” he says. “Egale has proven good at dealing with federal issues, but sometimes it’s better dealt with locally.”