Prominent GLBT Activist Has Received Canada's Highest Honor
WASHINGTON-Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, offered the following statement today on the investment of Rev. Brent Hawkes into the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honor. Rev. Hawkes is a GLBT civil rights leader who is widely credited with inspiring the 2003 court case that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Ontario. The case was instrumental in the 2005 passage of the Civil Marriage Act, which legalized same-sex marriage throughout Canada.
"HRC is so pleased that Canada has chosen to recognize Rev. Hawkes for his leadership and dedication to GLBT civil rights and marriage equality. He has worked for more than thirty years to ensure full equality for all Canadians. For his tireless service and commitment, the GLBT community - not just of Canada, but the world - owes Rev. Hawkes a debt of gratitude."
The Order of Canada is given to individuals for a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to nation.
Rev. Hawkes is the senior pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto. For more than three decades, Rev. Hawkes has been a champion of GLBT equality. He presided over Canada's - and the world's - first legal same-sex wedding. Other awards Rev. Hawkes has received include the City of Toronto's Award of Merit, the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, the United Nations Toronto Association Global Citizen Award and the YMCA Peace Medal.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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