Issues Overview

March 31st, 2019

Queer Ontario

Issues List
Updated: December 7, 2018

Advocacy & Activism
The extent to which groups and organizations can engage in advocacy activities depends on their status within the voluntary sector. Regulations on charitable organizations have implications for non-charitable organizations, including queer ones, and impact on the activism
of both.

Arts & Culture
To urge continued and strengthened support for the arts and culture sectors with particular emphasis on the development of queer cultures and its appreciation. Resisting censorship in the arts.

Assisted Death
Queer Ontario (QO) welcomes the legalization of doctor assisted death. We support clarification of eligibility criteria, recognizing the need for improved availability of mental health services.

Basic Income
QO supports the implementation of a Basic Income for all Ontarians. Implementation of this program should not deprive individuals of other comprehensive care related to income and disability support, pensions or other crucial social service provisioning. We oppose any attempt
at privatization and/or fee-for-service delivery of health care and social services to offset costs.

Capitalism / Corporate Social Responsibility
Rethinking and questioning capitalism and the increasingly powerful role of corporations in society and determining means by which capitalism and corporations can function in more socially responsible ways. Lend support to alternative economic systems, such as anti-capitalist movements and socially embedded markets that privilege people over profits.

That all levels of government recognize the value of queer representation in all art forms and mediums (including pornography) and how this contributes to cultural diversity. To challenge heterosexist and cisgendered notions of obscenity and uphold the principles of free speech and


Queers who come into conflict with the law will face a correctional system that may leave them particularly vulnerable due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.  Equitable treatment that meets their needs,  protection from harassment, abuse or potential life endangerment is of concern when navigating through the correctional process. Support
alternatives to prison and diversionary programs that respect queer and trans support needs and community ties.

(Dis)Abled Queers
Ensuring sensitivity and adequate supports of queers living with any form of (dis)ability. Ensuring the adequacy and implementation of Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) programs in Ontario.

Diverse Relationship Recognition
In the wake of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada in July 2005, QO seeks to work towards the recognition of a diversity of relationships beyond domestic conjugality. We believe heterosexual and same-sex marriage legal arrangements to be too narrow in scope and continues to disadvantage many in loving, companionship, caring and supportive relationships that fall outside of the legal definition of marriage.

Ensure safe and progressive learning environments free from homo- and transphobia, heterosexism, and sexual and gender harassment. We aim to develop, implement and evaluate equity policies that respect queer sexualities and gender diversity among students, teachers, administrative staff, and parents.

Employment Issues
Address continued workplace discrimination and harassment based on gender identity and sexual orientation with government, human rights commissions, labour boards, labour unions, etc.

Queer Ontario works in coalition with people living in poverty and their allies to ensure that urban spaces are accessible and livable for all. We downtown urban development that squeezes out poor people, homeless and marginalized, sex workers, drug users, the disabled
and chronically ill and others who rely on social services and health care services in their communities. We oppose neoliberal LGBT activism and its exclusion of others based on a set of privileged economic, material and social divisions and elite urban development. We call for the
expansion of deeply affordable housing in communities across Ontario.
Health Care and Social Services Promote policy development, training of health care and social services professionals, support for research and funding for specialized and mainstream service provision regarding the healthcare and social service needs of queer people.

Intersex Issues
Protecting intersex infants from gender assignment surgery until they are of an age in which they can make their own choices. Promoting awareness and support of non-binary sex and combating the equation and reduction of gender identity to genital difference.

To better accommodate the numerous and varying needs of queer-identified newcomers, whether asylum seekers, refugees, immigrants or new citizens, by educating relevant judicial and support systems of the specialized needs of these individuals.

Supporting the right of queer and other nudists to congregate, create spaces for naked supportive and social events including prearranged public spaces.
Ontario Human Rights Code
Hold the Ontario Human Rights Commission accountable for the enforcement, public education, and strengthening of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

People Living with HIV/AIDS
Ensure sufficient funding is provided to maintain and improve AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) and research initiatives. Support current campaigns against the criminalization of HIV, stigmatization, and disclosure concerns.
Pleasure positive – sex and drugs
Queer sexualities are especially vulnerable to moral panic campaigns. In the wake of the legalization of cannabis, QO will monitor, educate and intervene in public discussions of sex and party drug use to counter and prevent panic narratives based on the continuing stigma of chemsex (PnP “party ‘n’ play”) activities. We advocate for the decriminalization of all drugs, and for comprehensive education, information and support services for those who choose to use drugs for recreation and the enhancement of erotic pleasure.

Policing and Law Enforcement
To maintain a position of monitoring the actions of the police and how they relate to queer and trans communities to ensure fairness and accountability. Poverty Addressing issues of poverty within queer communities and promoting education, awareness and activism around their economic conditions and policies.

Ensuring that in addition to celebrating, pride festivities include a political agenda that serves to advance the issues affecting queer communities and that profit-making organizations involved are socially responsible corporations.

Public Sex
Queer Ontario is against the use of police resources for the surveillance, policing and arrest of individuals found having sex in public parks and washrooms which disproportionately target queers. Queer Ontario believes that safe and consensual erotic opportunities offered by urban spaces, when not interfering with others, is a legitimate form of erotic expression and should not be subject to moral panic campaigns nor increased police surveillance under antiquated ‘gross indecency’ laws. QO welcomes expanding the conversation around public sex to reduce the shame and stigma of safe, discreet and consensual erotic encounters conducted outside of the strictly private setting of the home.

Queer Critique of Queer Communities
A cornerstone of a critical queer liberationist perspective is the ability to question and critique society in general and queer communities in particular, in a challenging yet constructive manner that constantly assesses and reassesses our liberationist values.
Racism, Racialization & Ethnicity
Acknowledging, sensitizing and addressing how racialization, ethnicity, gender identity, class and sexual orientation intersect, and promoting continuing dialogue and activism about racism, racialization, and ethnicity in queer communities.

Religious/Spiritual Queers
To support queers who hold religious faith or spiritual beliefs to be recognized in organized
religious institutions.
Queer studies research is not recognized by the tri-council funding bodies in Canada and numerous other research funders, making it difficult for researchers to undertake queer and trans studies that could benefit queer communities.

Rural Experience
To support the development and growth of queer communities in rural settings addressing the issues and needs as these communities define them.
Seniors and Elder Care
Ensuring adequate and sensitive supports are currently being developed for aging and elderly queer and trans people that supports self-determination in the community and in long-term and supportive care and housing.

Separation of Religion and State
Urge all levels of government to separate religion from the state to end religious biases. Depoliticize religion in the political process and in public institutions and professions.

Sex Laws

To urge the updating of laws to better reflect the sexual realities of queer and trans people and the contexts in which they occur in order to redress inequalities, discrimination, and various forms of persecution.

Sex Work
Recognizing sex work (heterosexual, queer, and trans) as legitimate employment and monitoring and advocating for change in the laws in order to protect sex workers’ social, legal, labour, and human rights.

Trans and Gender Non-Conformity Issues

QO works to ensure full recognition and support of individuals and communities facing issues of trans, gender non-conformity, and non-binary forms of gender identities and expression. We work in coalition with individuals and communities to ensure the developing and ongoing
protection of social and legal rights for trans and gender non-conforming people. We also seek to address exclusionary norms and practices within queer spaces.

Urban Development, Corporate Surveillance & Data Mining
Queers have enhanced concerns related to data privacy and the rise of new urban development projects. QO supports critiques of surveillance practices and data mining activities by large global corporations to ensure full public accountability and transparency, and opt-out choices. QO affirms the need for the protection of personal data, and internet privacy.

To work towards ending violence perpetrated against queer and trans people socially and domestically by advocating for public education, equitable laws, and support services to properly address these issues.

Youth Issues
Urge sectors and ministries dealing with education, health care, child protection, and social services to recognize and address the particular needs of queer youth. This concern is extended
to queer communities themselves to ensure youth are better included and accommodated. Explore ways of improving youth agency.

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