Ontario Lawyers Wear Tabs with Pride: OBA Shows Support for LGBTQ+ Community and Celebrates Diversity in the Bar

  • June 21, 2018

TORONTO, ON – In the lead-up to Canada’s largest Pride Parade, Ontario lawyers are showing that their profession is a diverse, open and welcoming one.

The Ontario Bar Association (OBA) is expecting a hundred OBA members to walk in Toronto’s Pride Parade on June 24, 2018.

And for the first time since the OBA began marching in Pride, OBA lawyers will wear a modified form of court dress - rainbow tabs, in particular – as a symbol of lawyers’ and the Courts’ openness toward the LGBTQ+ community.

The OBA has long been a leader in promoting equality and eliminating discrimination within the legal profession. For more than 20 years, the OBA’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law Section (SOGIC) has been an ally and advocate for members of the legal profession who have interests in the equality rights of 

lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgendered, and two-spirited people through its community, advocacy work and education.

Toronto-based lawyer Steven Lewis chairs the OBA’s SOGIC Section and spearheaded the work to have rainbow tabs available to the lawyers marching in the Pride parade. 

“OBA lawyers have been marching in Canada’s largest Pride Parade for five years,” said Steven Lewis, SOGIC Chair, “and, we were looking for a way to demonstrably show our pride as lawyers and members of this important community”

“We thought, ‘how can we further demonstrate that lawyers and people of all sexual orientation and gender identity are truly embraced by all levels of the profession?’”

The answer was to make that support visible. In May, SOGIC reached out to the Office of the Chief Justice of Ontario seeking support for a plan to wear rainbow tabs at the Toronto Pride Parade. 

“Pride Month is an occasion to celebrate and to express our pride in the diversity of our community, our bar and our bench. We also celebrate the role of the legal profession and the courts in protecting the rights and freedoms of all members of society,” said the Honourable George R. Strathy, Chief Justice of Ontario

“I take this opportunity to thank members of the bar, and legal organizations like the OBA’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Section, for their leadership in this important work,” said the Chief Justice.

OBA President Quinn Ross added, “Lawyers at every level, of every background and in every corner of the province have a role to play in creating an inclusive profession and celebrating diversity in our profession. I am extremely proud that our community of lawyers is making visible gestures to show that we are always on the side of human rights, that we embrace people of all backgrounds, and that we are there when people need us.”

Members of the profession can register to walk with the OBA in Toronto’s Pride Parade at www.oba.org. Do-it-yourself rainbow tabs are available for lawyers to print and wear at www.oba.org/mypridetabs.  


For more information:
Amy Clark, OBA Media Relations and Communications Manager
416-869-1074 x364; aclark@oba.org