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Egale Canada is our national lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) human rights organization: advancing equality, diversity, education and justice.
Egale's vision is a Canada free of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and all other forms of discrimination so that every person can achieve their full potential, unencumbered by hatred and bias.
Founded in 1986, Egale Canada was incorporated as a federal not-for-profit organization in 1995, with a focus on education, advocacy, litigation and expert consultation.
Egale Canada's partner organization, Egale Canada Human Rights Trust (ECHRT), was founded in 1995 as a charity dedicated to advancing LGBT human rights through education, research and community engagement.
Human Rights Campaigns
Over the course of 20 years, Egale has intervened before Canadian courts and tribunals in 24 cases, including 11 before the Supreme Court of Canada. Egale has intervenedrepresented the interests of Canada's LGBT community in every major LGBT human rights case that has reached the Supreme Court, arguing for the inclusion of sexual orientation in human rights legislation (Vriend) and the Charter (Egan), the recognition of spousal benefits for same-sex couples (M v. H), marriage equality (the Marriage Reference), and combating censorship of LGBT materials (Little Sisters). Nearly all decisions have been in Egale's favour.
Egale Canada was the driving force behind the Canadians for Equal Marriage campaign—widely regarded as the most influential public policy lobbying campaign in Canadian history—which ultimately resulted in Canada being one of the first countries in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.
Egale continues to fight for substantive legal rights for Canada's LGBT community, particularly with respect to trans equality, blood and organ donation for gay and bisexual men, LGBT parental recognition, as well as hate crimes and hate propaganda.
Safe Schools Campaign
ECHRT conducted Canada's first and only national survey on homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in Canadian schools. It revealed shockingly high levels of bullying, violence and harassment directed toward LGBTQ students:
This has inspired Egale's national Safe Schools Campaign which includes: teacher training sessions; working with school boards and provincial ministries of education to create safer and more inclusive policies; and publishing equity and inclusive education resource kits for high schools.
The cornertone of the Safe Schools Campaign is Egale's MyGSA.ca, the first Canadian website on gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in schools. The website is a resource-based information portal for students, parents, educators and administrators.
Every two years, Egale hosts the National Gay-Straight Alliance Summit, bringing together students and educators from across the country.
Hate Crimes Prevention Campaign
According to Statistics Canada:
As part of the internationally recognized Report Homophobic Violence, Period (RHVP) program, ECHRT continues to deliver critical LGBT-awareness training to police services and communities across Canada. This training includes an LGBT youth suicide prevention component as well as information on policing in the trans community and how to prevent and respond to hate-motivated crimes.
Egale also contributes to international equality initiatives such as the UN Conference on Human Rights, the UN World Conference on Women, the International Year of the Family Conference, and the International Foreign Ministers Meeting at the Council for Global Equality.
Egale's Executive Director, Helen Kennedy, is one of two North American board members of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), and has successfully represented the organization at the UN on a number of occasions.
Recognizing Egale's reputation in the area of LGBT human rights, senior officials at the US Department of Defense consulted with Egale when deciding the future of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Egale has also delivered training sessions on LGBT issues in the Balkans.
Egale organizes national conferences and consultations to enable LGBT Canadians and our allies to mobilize and strategize on issues of importance to our communities.
Services such as Egale's e-list, newsletter and daily news clippings enable members of the LGBT community and those advancing LGBT equality to network and stay informed on the most important issues of the day.
Become a member: Support LGBT equality in Canada by making a financial contribution to Egale Canada today.
Volunteer: Egale Canada relies heavily on the support and commitment of volunteers across the country.
Participate: Come to Egale's Annual Gala or join us at one of the many events hosted throughout the year.
Egale Canada ©2011