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Manitoba moves to protect gays during AIDS crisis

The Story

Six years into the AIDS crisis the gay community remains a scapegoat for a disease that affects men and women, gay and straight, the world over. Nowhere is this more obvious than at the Manitoba legislature. In the park outside the legislature building, homosexuals are increasingly attacked in violent episodes of gay bashing. But inside the legislature, the Manitoba government moves to protect the rights of gays in a new human rights bill.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: June 8, 1987
Guest(s): Emile Ballantyne, Lois Beck, Ron Epp, Ronald Penner
Host: Knowlton Nash
Reporter: Usten Reinhart
Duration: 2:46

Did You know?

• Homosexuality was a crime in Canada until 1969 when it was decriminalized as part of Pierre Trudeau's Omnibus Bill.
• Quebec included sexual orientation in its Human Rights Code on Dec. 16, 1977, making it the first province in Canada to pass a gay civil rights law. The law made it illegal to discriminate against gays in housing, public accommodation and employment. By 2001 all provinces except Alberta, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories had taken this step.

• In 1979 the Canadian Human Rights Commission recommended in its Annual Report that "sexual orientation" be added to the Canadian Human Rights Act, but this didn't actually happen until 1996.
• AIDS was first noticed in homosexuals, but it is not a gay disease and never has been. In 2002 one in 100 sexually active adults worldwide is infected with HIV. Fifty per cent of them are women.

More AIDS facts (2002):
• More than 50 million people have been infected with HIV, and 18 million have died from AIDS.
• Every day 16,000 people become infected. More than a million babies are born infected with HIV each year.
• More than 2,000 Canadians test positive for HIV every year.



The Early Years of the AIDS Crisis more