Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality


CRARR is proud to be the only non-profit group in Quebec that provides assistance and representation to victims of sexual orientation discrimination, as part of its services for victims of discrimination.

As the concept of equality as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (s. 15) and in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (s. 10) has evolved over the last two decades, our work in protecting and promoting racial equality has also adapted to new legal, social and cultural realities.

To address effectively the multiple and intersectional faces of discrimination, we must now address the ways in which different inequalities are interconnected, the interdependence of fundamental human rights and the importance of solidarity among equality-seeking groups. It is for this reason that while most of our cases deal with racial discrimination, 20% of our caseload involves grounds other than race and ethnicity.

Through our mandate to combat hate crimes and instances of discrimination, we tackle antigay bias by taking into account data showing that gay men, Blacks, Jews and Muslims constitute the groups most affected by hate-motivated crimes and messages. CRARR also acknowledges that the promoters of homophobic hate often advocate racism and anti-Semitism. Thus, an intersectional and intergroup approach to combating hate crimes is necessary for effective community responses and better access to the justice system. This is particularly important in jurisdictions lacking adequate institutional capacity to address hate crimes, which results in these crimes being under-prosecuted and victims' rights being inadequately protected.

Consequently, the prevention of homophobia, and civil rights protection for lesbians, gay men, transgendered and transsexual people (LGBT), is now one of our main priorities. While Canada and Quebec have been global leaders in outlawing homophobic discrimination, anti-gay and gender-identity bias persist in different forms (including in our justice system). Moreover, gay men and lesbians (or those perceived to be gay or lesbian) are still subject to bullying in school, harassment at work and at home, as well as insults on the airwaves.

We are committed to ensuring the full and equal protection of and equal benefit for individuals with different sexual orientations and gender identity, for diversity is not only a fundamental national value; it is also a constitutional principle yearning to become a daily practice.

Our record on gay rights includes:

  • Parliamentary testimony with Jewish and Bar associations, to support the inclusion of sexual orientation in s. 718.2 of the Criminal Code regarding enhanced penalty for hate-motivated crimes (1995);
  • Supporting the Canadian government's position to include sexual orientation in the UN Plan of Action to combat racism, intolerance, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance, through the organization of a round-table in Montreal on gays and lesbians of color (2001);
  • Hosting a luncheon-conference with Keith Boykin, a gay Black U.S. public affairs commentator, author and advisor in the Clinton White House (2001);
  • Hosting a seminar on hate crime prosecution and training for law enforcement personnel, with a keynote speaker from the American Prosecutors Research Institute (2002);
  • Producing a bilingual flyer on hate crimes, for community stakeholders and helping professionals (2006);
  • Co-hosting a public education event with leading gay and antiracist activist Louis-Georges Tin, from France (2009);
  • Requesting intervention by the Quebec Human Rights Commission and Montreal and Toronto police services, in response to performances by homophobic dance-hall reggae artists from Jamaica in both cities (CRARR was the first organization in Canada to take formal actions against these artists) (2006 and 2008);
  • Filing a civil rights complaint in 2008 on behalf of a gay Black man against a Black shopping center clerk for homophobic treatment after the former publicly displayed affection towards his white boyfriend. The case led to a satisfactory settlement for the victim (2008);
  • Filing civil rights complaints leading to the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal's decision in 2008 against homophobic harassment, which awarded a West-Island gay couple $15,000 in damages, and another decision from the Tribunal in 2010, granting the same couple $12,000 in damages in another case.
  • For more information on our work for LGBT Equality:

  • Quebec Human Rights Tribunal decision:
  • Quebec Human Rights Tribunal decision: