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social sciences

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Hislop, George (1927-2005)  
page: 1  2  

For himself, he was "thinking of taking a little holiday, perhaps a short cruise in the winter into warmer weather." Sadly, it did not happen. Hislop died of cancer on October 8, 2005, less than three months after Canada became the fourth country to recognize same-sex marriages.

Hundreds of friends and family members gathered at Woody's Bar in Toronto for "Hislop's last party" to honor his legacy and contributions to the rights and culture of glbtq Canadians. These included leading the campaign to make discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal under the Ontario Human Rights Code, serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the AIDS Committee of Toronto and of the city's Committee of Adjustments, working as the longtime President of the Hassle Free Clinic, and celebrating and being celebrated by Toronto's glbtq community as Grand Marshall of the 2004 Pride Parade. He also won the International Lesbian and Gay Law Association's Karl Ulrichs Award, which honored him for his lifetime of achievement in advancing glbtq rights.

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Among those attending the memorial were Toronto Mayor David Miller, Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry, Canadian Defense Minister Bill Graham, and other political leaders. Health Minister George Smitherman, who had been the first openly gay member of a provincial parliament, acknowledged his debt to Hislop, saying, "The most enduring legacy of the work of George Hislop . . . is that the path he paved for me as a gay man made my life in politics so easy. For a little kid from Etobicoke he was . . . a beacon of freedom."

Toronto Councillor Kyle Rae praised Hislop for his early and persistent commitment to fighting for glbtq rights and his impact on the community. "He was out from the beginning. He had the ability and the courage to do that, and now all of us here today can do the same thing," he declared.

Gail Meredith, a representative plaintiff in the CPP case, neatly summarized Hislop's contributions to his country and the glbtq community: "George was one of the most dedicated people I have ever met. He truly made Canada a better place for everyone by showing us that we must never stop asserting our right for equality."

Linda Rapp

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social sciences >> Overview:  Canada

In 2005 Canada became the fourth country to recognize same-sex marriages; the milestone victory solidified Canada's position as a leader in the struggle for glbtq equality.

social sciences >> Overview:  Elected Officials

In the United States, glbtq candidates have achieved some significant successes at the ballot box in the last three decades, running for and winning local, state, and national elections.

social sciences >> Overview:  Toronto

Toronto's glbtq community has gone from being a hidden subculture to a power base in politics, the economy, and the arts.

social sciences >> Egan, Jim

One of Canada's first gay activists, Jim Egan began demanding respect and equal rights in the late 1940s; in his later years he mounted a challenge to Canada's law on spousal retirement benefits.

social sciences >> Hawkes, Brent

Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, the Reverend Doctor Brent Hawkes has worked with fervor and dedication to secure equal rights for glbtq Canadians.

social sciences >> Wilson, Douglas

Canadian human rights activist Douglas Wilson is also remembered as the life partner of American-Canadian writer/performer Peter McGehee; together they married activism with art and entertainment.


"Canada Pension Plan Class Action. Gay Rights Pioneer George Hislop Dies at 78; Plaintiff in Landmark Charter Case." (2005).

Cotroneo, Christian. "'Canada's Official Homosexual' George Hislop Dies at Age 78." Toronto Star (October 10, 2005): A4.

"George Hislop, 19272005 [sic]." Eye Weekly (October 13, 2005).

Teotonio, Isabel. "Activist Praised at 'Hislop's Last Party.'" Toronto Star (November 7, 2005): B4.

Tyler, Tracey. "Widowed Gays Win Survivor Pensions." Toronto Star (November 27, 2004): A1.

Ward, Roger. "It Took 19 Years for Gay Man to Receive Survivor Benefits: Few People Realize They Are Eligible for Pension." Edmonton Journal (Alberta) (August 12, 2005): B6.


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Hislop, George  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2005  
    Date Last Updated December 21, 2005  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2005, glbtq, inc.  


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