Articles

About Articles The following articles are published by the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community Section of the Ontario Bar Association. Members are encouraged to submit articles. About Articles

Editor: Rachel Allen

Today
Today
illustration of barbara findlay wearing court robe with pride-flag cape standing beside an open law book

The “Lesbian Lawyer”: barbara findlay, K.C.

  • June 12, 2024
  • Tamara J. Sylvester (one/they/them)

The courtroom is not where one expects to encounter a superhero. Lawyers, even the great ones, have yet to inspire such a characterization, in fiction or in fact. Until now! barbara findlay KC has earned the right to be revered as such. After all, a superhero, simply put, is a human being who uses their unique abilities to make the world a more just and humane place. barbara wields her pride in her lesbian identity as a superpower to achieve equal rights and justice for the 2SLGBTQ+ Community.

Women Lawyers Forum, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law, Student Forum
head-shot photo of author Mark Ziman Smith

What UR Pride Tells Us About Fundamental Rights and Freedoms in Canada

  • June 03, 2024
  • Mark Ziman Smith (He/Him)

This article is the winner of the 2024 SOGIC Student Article Competition. Written by University of Toronto incoming 2L Mark Ziman Smith, this article discusses how the notwithstanding clause, as used in UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity v. Government of Saskatchewan et al, fits into the legal landscape and affects minority rights.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law, Student Forum

Justice Joseph Callaghan: Sitting on the Bench of the Ontario Court of Justice

  • February 14, 2024
  • Rachel Allen (she/her)

Justice Joseph Callaghan is an openly gay judge currently sitting in the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto. He has been sitting on the bench since 2022, after working in the criminal justice system since 1995.

Criminal Justice, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law, Student Forum

Rainbow Alliance Dryden et Al. v Webster: Court Rules “Groomer” a Slur Against the 2SLGBTQ+ Community

  • February 07, 2024
  • Nofil Nadeem (he/him)

In 2023, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Rainbow Alliance Dryden et al. v Webster ruled that the word “groomer,” when used to attack the 2SLGBTQ+ and drag community, is a slur and not protected by Ontario’s anti-SLAPP laws. This article summarizes the decision and how the case accords with the recent decision of Hansman v Neufeld.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law, Student Forum

Introductory Primer to Name and Gender Marker Changes in Ontario

  • November 17, 2023
  • Amy Chen (she/her), Rachel Allen (she/her)

This article is an introductory primer to a lawyer's involvement in assisting individuals with their change of name or change of gender marker applications for Ontario documentation.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law, Student Forum

Prospective Developments in Italian Law Regarding 2SLGBTQ+ Families

  • November 17, 2023
  • Rachel Allen (she/her)

In 2022, Italy elected Giorgia Meloni as prime minister. Meloni ran on a platform that specifically targeted 2SLGBTQ+ parenting rights. The impact of Meloni's election demonstrates the current risk facing 2SLGBTQ+ rights globally.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law, Student Forum
head-shot photo of Gregory Ko

Gregory Ko: SOGIC's Outgoing Chair

  • November 17, 2023
  • Rachel Allen (she/her)

Gregory Ko, the Outgoing Chair of the SOGIC Executive, has used his skills as an advocate to challenge discriminatory policies. Greg's recent cases include representing clients challenging Canadian Blood Services ban on donations from queer men and the Health Canada rule barring gay and bisexual men from donating sperm.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law, Student Forum

Hansman v Neufeld: Counter-Speech and Trans Rights

  • November 17, 2023
  • Rachel Allen (she/her), Amy Chen (she/her)

In 2023, the Supreme Court of Canada considered a defamation case revolving around the public criticism of transphobic and homophobic comments made by a school board trustee. The decision of Hansman v Neufeld emphasized the importance of counter-speech and recognized the trans community is a marginalized group deserving rights and protections under Canadian law.

Education Law, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law, Student Forum