A proposal to include sexual orientation in Alberta’s human rights legislation is being applauded by Edmonton’s gay and lesbian community, but it says it’s long overdue.

Alberta Culture Minister Lindsay Blackett has introduced some changes to modernize the legislation this spring.

And while people within Alberta’s gay and lesbian community are already protected as a result of a 1998 Supreme Court decision, Blackett said his amendments would bring Alberta’s human rights laws in line with other provinces and the court decision.

“This could have been done in 1998, when the Supreme Court of Canada told them to do it,” said Kris Wells, who works at the University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services. “The fact that this wasn’t done was a slap in the face to the (gay and lesbian) community. Then premier (Ralph) Klein refused to do what the court had ordered.”

Wells believes the change in government has resulted in the human rights shift that will make Alberta’s gay and lesbian community “respected like any other community in the province.”

Latest From ...