Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality

GAY RIGHTS: CRARR FILES THREE COMPLAINTS OF HOMOPHOBIC DISCRIMINATION


Montreal, November 8, 2010 --- CRARR has filed three complaints against homophobic discrimination during the past two weeks on behalf of three men and one woman who were the victims of discrimination and harassment in the workplace and at home as a result of their sexual orientation.

The complaints are directed at a university, a high school in the South-Shore and a heterosexual couple.

In the first case, a lesbian who was working in an environment that was non-traditional for women was exposed to a poisoned work environment over the course of several years, which included jokes, explicitly discriminatory comments, and harassing treatment. Even though she was a unionized employee, she wasn’t able to obtain assistance from her union; when she turned to the help of the university's ombudsman whose mandate includes harassment, she received no help. Finally, with the assistance of CRARR, she filed a civil rights complaint directed at members of her team who were responsible for these acts.

In the second case, a resident of Longueuil was regularly exposed to homophobic comments coming from students at a high school near where he lived, and this over the course of several years. While he was waiting to take a bus, several students launched discriminatory jokes and comments. Sometimes, students yelled from the second floor windows of the school, as the man walked by the school. The incidents were even heard by the man’s sister and by people living in his building. After having suffered serious psychological consequences, the man decided to seek the help of CRARR in defending his rights.

In the third case, a biracial couple in Sherbrooke, Quebec, has experienced ongoing homophobic harassment from neighbors, leading to physical conflicts and one of the partners being charged with a criminal offense.

In all three cases, in addition to pecuniary damages, CRARR is seeking mandatory anti-homophobic and anti-discrimination training.

Under CRARR’s mandate in its fight against hate crimes and incidents, CRARR is frequently asked to assist the victims of homophobia in a variety of circumstances, including physical violence. Past successful actions in this area include assistance to a gay couple in Montreal win $15,000 in damages for homophobic harassment, and a Black gay man obtain a satisfactory settlement after being mistreated by a cleaning clerk while showing affection to his white boyfriend in a shopping center.

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