Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 22, 2015

Social Movements and Political Opportunities: Lesbians, Gays and the Inclusion of Sexual Orientation in the Québec Charter of Human Rights

  • Manon Tremblay EMAIL logo
From the journal World Political Science

Abstract

In December 1977, the Québec government, formed by the Parti québécois (PQ), amended the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms to include sexual orientation as a prohibited ground of discrimination. Québec thus became the first jurisdiction in North America to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. This paper examines the reasons why the PQ government stood ahead of everybody else in this matter. It argues that the Québec lesbian and gay movement drew on favorable political and cultural opportunities to secure legal protection against discrimination.


Original reference: Tremblay, Manon (2013). Mouvements sociaux et opportunités politiques: les lesbiennes et les gais et l’ajout de l’orientation sexuelle à la Charte québécoise des droits et libertés, Revue canadienne de science politique 46(2):295–322.



Corresponding author: Manon Tremblay, Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, School of Political Studies, 120 University Street, room 7071, Ottawa ON, Canada K1N 6N5, e-mail:

Acknowledgments

I wish to thank Miriam Smith for her precious comments on an earlier version of this article. Thanks also to the Journal’s co-editor, Professor Daniel Salée, for his advice and professionalism.

References

Adam, Barry D. (1995) The Rise of a Gay and Lesbian Movement. Revised Edition. New York: Twayne.Search in Google Scholar

Adam, Barry D. (1999) “Moral Regulation and the Disintegrating Canadian State.” In: (Barry D. Adam, Jan Willem Duyvendak and André Krouwel, eds.) The Global Emergence of Gay and Lesbian Politics: National Imprints of a Worldwide Movement. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pp. 12–29.Search in Google Scholar

Anderssen, Norman and Tone Hellesund (2009) “Heteronormative Consensus in the Norwegian Same-Sex Adoption Debate?,” Journal of Homosexuality, 56(1):102–120.10.1080/00918360802551597Search in Google Scholar

Armstrong, Elizabeth A. and Suzanna M. Crage (2006) “Movements and Memory: The Making of the Stonewall Myth,” American Sociological Review, 71(5):724–751.10.1177/000312240607100502Search in Google Scholar

Association homophile de Montréal (L’) (1974) Mémoire [sur le projet de loi no 50], 6M. Montréal: Association homophile de Montréal.Search in Google Scholar

Association pour les droits des gai(e)s du Québec (ADGQ) (1977) “La minorité homosexuelle au Québec et La Charte des droits et libertés de la personne.” Mémoire présenté à Marc-André Bédard, ministre de la Justice et à la Commission des droits de la personne. Montréal: ADGQ.Search in Google Scholar

Bernstein, Mary (2003) “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained? Conceptualizing Social Movement “Success” in the Lesbian and Gay Movement,” Sociological Perspectives, 46(3):353–379.Search in Google Scholar

Bernstein, Mary, Anna-Maria Marshall and Scott Barclay (2009) “The Challenge of Law: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Social Movements.” In: (Scott Barclay, Mary Bernstein and Anna-Maria Marshall, eds.) Queer Mobilizations: LGBT Activists Confront the Law. New York: New York University Press, pp. 1–17.Search in Google Scholar

Brickell, Chris (2005) “The Transformation of Heterosexism and its Paradoxes.” In: (Chrys Ingraham, ed.) Thinking Straight: The Power, Promise and Paradox of Heterosexuality. New York: Routledge, pp. 85–106.Search in Google Scholar

Bureau, Marie-France and Jacques Papy (2006) “L’orientation sexuelle et la Charte des droits et libertés de la personne: récit d’une trajectoire,” Revue du Barreau du Québec, Numéro hors série “La Charte québécoise: origines, enjeux et perspectives,” 109–141.Search in Google Scholar

Burstein, Paul, Rachel L. Einwohner and Jocelyn A. Hollander (1995) “Success of Political Movements: A Bargaining Perspective.” In: (J. Craig Jenkins and Bert Klandermans, eds.) The Politics of Social Protest: Comparative Perspectives on State and Social Movements. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 275–295.Search in Google Scholar

Centre homophile urbain de Montréal (CHUM) (1975) Mémoire du Centre homophile urbain de Montréal sur le projet de loi no 50, 22M. Montréal: Centre homophile urbain de Montréal.Search in Google Scholar

Chambers, Stuart (2010) “Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Bill C-150: A Rational Approach to Homosexual Acts, 1968–1969,” Journal of Homosexuality, 57(2):249–266.10.1080/00918360903489085Search in Google Scholar

Charmaz, Kathy (2006) Constructing Grounded Theory: Practical Guide Through Qualitative Analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Search in Google Scholar

Commission des droits de la personne du Québec (CDPQ) (1977) “L’orientation sexuelle dans la Charte des droits et libertés de la personne du Québec.” Communiqué de la CDPQ, diffusé le 27 octobre.Search in Google Scholar

Commission des droits de la personne du Québec (CDPQ) (1994) De l’illégalité à l’égalité. Rapport de la consultation publique sur la violence et la discrimination envers les gais et lesbiennes. Montréal/Québec: La Commission.Search in Google Scholar

Conseil exécutif (1977) Fonds E5, conseil exécutif. Mémoire des délibérations du conseil exécutif, séance du 30 novembre 1977 et Mémoire au conseil des ministres, de Me Marc-André Bédard, ministre de la Justice. Objet: Loi modifiant la charte québécoise des droits et libertés de la personne, le 21 novembre 1977. Québec: Centre d’archives de Québec.Search in Google Scholar

Corriveau, Patrice (2006) La répression des homosexuels au Québec et en France. Du bûcher à la mairie. Québec: Septentrion.Search in Google Scholar

Earl, Jennifer (2003) “Tanks, Tear Gas, and Taxes: Toward a Theory of Movement Repression,” Sociological Theory, 21(1):44–68.10.1111/1467-9558.00175Search in Google Scholar

Earl, Jennifer (2011) “Political Repression: Iron Fists, Velvet Gloves, and Diffuse Control,” Annual Review of Sociology, 37:261–284.10.1146/annurev.soc.012809.102609Search in Google Scholar

Edwards, Bob and John D. McCarthy (2004) “Resources and Social Movement Mobilization.” In: (David A. Snow, Sarah Anne Soule and Hanspeter Kriesi, eds.) The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 116–152.10.1002/9780470999103.ch6Search in Google Scholar

Egan c. Canada, [1995] 2 SCR 513.Search in Google Scholar

Farney, James (2012) Social Conservatives and Party Politics in Canada and the United States. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.10.3138/9781442699618Search in Google Scholar

Fetner, Tina (2008) How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism. Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press.Search in Google Scholar

Gamson, William A. (1975) The Strategy of Social Protest. Homewood: Dorsey Press.Search in Google Scholar

Gamson, William A. (2004) “Bystanders, Public Opinion, and the Media.” In: (David A. Snow, Sarah Anne Soule and Hanspeter Kriesi, eds.) The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements. pp. 242–261.10.1002/9780470999103.ch11Search in Google Scholar

Gurney, Joan Neff and Kathleen J. Tierney (1982) “Relative Deprivation and Social Movements: A Critical Look at Twenty Years of Theory and Research,” Sociological Quarterly, 23(1):33–47.10.1111/j.1533-8525.1982.tb02218.xSearch in Google Scholar

Habermas, Jürgen (1981) “New Social Movements,” Telos, 49(1):33–37.10.3817/0981049033Search in Google Scholar

Hall, Peter and Rosemary Taylor (1997) “La science Politique et Les Trois Néo-Institutionnalismes,” Revue Française De Science Politique, 47(5):469–496.10.3406/rfsp.1997.395192Search in Google Scholar

Hekma, Gert and Jan Willem Duyvendak (2011) “The Netherlands: Depoliticization of Homosexuality and Homosexualition of Politics.” In: (Manon Tremblay, David Paternotte and Carol Johnson, eds.) The Lesbian and Gay Movement and the State: Comparative Insights into a Transformed Relationship. Farnham (Surrey): Ashgate, pp. 103–117.Search in Google Scholar

Herman, Didi (1994) “The Christian Right and the Politics of Morality in Canada,” Parliamentary Affairs, 47(2):268–279.Search in Google Scholar

Higgins, Ross (1999) De la Clandestinité Á L’affirmation. Pour une Histoire de la Communauté Gaie Montréalaise. Montréal: Comeau & Nadeau.Search in Google Scholar

Jackson, Ed and Stan Persky (Eds) (1982) Flaunting It! A decade of gay journalism from The Body Politic. An anthology. Vancouver/Toronto: New Star Books/Pink Triangle Press.Search in Google Scholar

Jenkins, J. Craig (1983) “Resource Mobilization Theory and the Study of Social Movements,” Annual Review of Sociology, 9:527–553.10.1146/annurev.so.09.080183.002523Search in Google Scholar

Kinsman, Gary (1987) The Regulation of Desire. Sexuality in Canada. Montréal/New York: Black Rose Books.Search in Google Scholar

Kinsman, Gary and Patrizia Gentile (2010) The Canadian War on Queers. National Security as Sexual Regulation. Vancouver: UBC Press.Search in Google Scholar

Knegt, Peter (2011) About Canada. Queer Rights. Halifax/Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing.Search in Google Scholar

Lamoureux, Diane (1998) “La Question Lesbienne Dans le Féminisme Montréalais: Un Chassé-croisé.” In: (Iréne Demczuk and Frank W. Remiggi, eds.) Sortir de l’ombre. Histoires des communautés lesbienne et gaie de Montréal. Montréal: VLB éditeur, pp. 167–185.Search in Google Scholar

McAdam, Doug, John D. McCarthy and Mayer N. Zald (1988) “Social Movements.” In: (Neil J. Smelser, ed.) Handbook of Sociology. Newbury Park: Sage, pp. 695–737.Search in Google Scholar

McAdam, Doug, John D. McCarthy and Mayer N. Zald (1996) “Introduction.” In Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements. Political Opportunities, Mobilizing Structures, and Cultural Framings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–20.Search in Google Scholar

McCarthy, John D. and Mayer N. Zald (1977) “Resource Mobilization and Social Movements: A Partial Theory,” American Journal of Sociology, 82(6):1212–1241.10.1086/226464Search in Google Scholar

McLeod, Donald W. (1996) Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada. A Selected Annotated Chronology, 1964–1975. Toronto: ECW Press/Homewood Books.Search in Google Scholar

Mepschen, Paul and Jan Willem Duyvendak (2012) “European Sexual Nationalisms: The Culturalization of Citizenship and the Sexual Politics of Belonging and Exclusion,” Perspectives on Europe, 42(1):70–76.Search in Google Scholar

Montigny, Éric (2012) “Le Parti Québécois: Vers une’Dédémocratisation’?”. In: (Réjean Pelletier, ed.) Les partis politiques québécois dans la tourmente. Mieux comprendre et évaluer leur rôle. Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, pp. 273–300.Search in Google Scholar

Montréal Gay Association, Montréal Gay Woman/Centre humanitaire d’aide et de libération (C.H.A.L. Inc.) (1974) Mémoire [sur le projet de loi no 50], 16M. Montréal and Québec: Montréal Gay Association, Montréal Gay Woman/Centre humanitaire d’aide et de libération (C.H.A.L. Inc.).Search in Google Scholar

Mottl, Tahi L. (1980) “The Analysis of Countermovements,” Social Problems, 27(5):620–635.10.2307/800200Search in Google Scholar

Parti québécois (1975) Le programme. L’action politique. Les statuts et réglements. Montréal: Parti québécois.Search in Google Scholar

Pasteur, Claude (1999) Le beau vice ou les homosexuels à la Cour de France. Paris: Balland.Search in Google Scholar

Paternotte, David, Manon Tremblay and Carol Johnson (Eds) (2011) “Conclusion.” In The Lesbian and Gay Movement and the State. Comparative Insights into a Transformed Relationship. Abingdon: Ashgate, pp. 213–227.Search in Google Scholar

Plant, Richard (1986) The Pink Triangle. The Nazi War Against Homosexuals. New York: Holt.Search in Google Scholar

Podmore, Julie (2006) “Gone ‘Underground’? Lesbian Visibility and the Consolidation of Queer Space in Montréal,” Social & Cultural Geography, 7(4):595–625.10.1080/14649360600825737Search in Google Scholar

Puar, Jasbir K. (2012) Homonationalisme. La politique queer aprés le 11 septembre 2001. Paris: Éditions Amsterdam.Search in Google Scholar

Québec, Assemblée nationale (1975a) Journal des débats. Commissions parlementaires. Commission permanente de la justice. Projet de loi no 50 – Charte des droits et libertés de la personne. Troisième session – 30e législature. No 153, 25 juin.Search in Google Scholar

Québec, Assemblée nationale (1975b) Journal des débats. Commissions parlementaires. Commission permanente de la justice. Étude du projet de loi no 50 – Loi concernant les droits et les libertés de la personne. Troisième session – 30e législature. No 8, 23 janvier.Search in Google Scholar

Québec, Assemblée nationale (1975c) Projet de loi no 50. Charte des droits et libertés de la personne. Troisième session – 30e législature, première lecture. Québec: L’Éditeur officiel du Québec Charles-Henri Dubé.Search in Google Scholar

Québec, Assemblée nationale (1977a) Journal des débats. Deuxième session – 31e législature. Vol. 19. No 128. 7 décembre.Search in Google Scholar

Québec, Assemblée nationale (1977b) Journal des débats. Deuxième session – 31e législature. Vol. 19. No 133. 15 décembre.Search in Google Scholar

Rayside, David (1988) “Gay Rights and Family Values: The Passage of Bill 7 in Ontario,” Studies in Political Economy, 26 Summer, 109–147.10.1080/19187033.1988.11675543Search in Google Scholar

Rayside, David (1998) On the Fringe. Gays and Lesbians in Politics. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.10.7591/9781501729638Search in Google Scholar

Rayside, David (2008) Queer Inclusions, Continental Divisions. Public Recognition of Sexual Diversity in Canada and the United States. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.10.3138/9781442688896Search in Google Scholar

Shareck, Olivier (2003) Évolution de l’opinion publique face à la reconnaissance des droits des gais et des lesbiennes au Québec telle que vue dans les journaux montréalais et dans les sondages 1967–1994. Thèse de maîtrise. Université du Québec à Montréal, Département d’histoire.Search in Google Scholar

Smith, Miriam (1998) “Nationalisme et politiques des mouvements sociaux: les droits des gais et lesbiennes et l’incidence de la Charte canadienne au Québec,” Politique et Sociétés, 17(3):113–140.10.7202/040131arSearch in Google Scholar

Smith, Miriam (1999) Lesbian and Gay Rights in Canada. Social Movements and Equality-Seeking, 1971–1995. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.10.3138/9781442676633Search in Google Scholar

Smith, Miriam (2004) “Questioning Heteronormativity: Lesbian and Gay Challenges to Education Practice in British Columbia, Canada,” Social Movement Studies, 3(2):131–145.10.1080/1474283042000266092Search in Google Scholar

Smith, Miriam (2008) Political Institutions and Lesbian and Gay Rights in the United States and Canada. New York: Routledge.10.4324/9780203895016Search in Google Scholar

Smith, Miriam (2010) “Federalism and LGBT Rights in the US and Canada: A Comparative Analysis.” In: (Melissa Haussman, Marian Sawer and Jill Vickers, eds.) Federalism, Feminism and Multilevel Governance. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 97–109.Search in Google Scholar

Smith, Miriam (2011) “Canada: The Power of Institutions.” In: (Manon Tremblay, David Paternotte and Carol Johnson, eds.) The Lesbian and Gay Movement and the State. Comparative Insights into a Transformed Relationship. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 73–87.Search in Google Scholar

Snow, David A. (2004) “Framing Processes, Ideology, and Discursive Fields.” In: (David A. Snow, Sarah Anne Soule and Hanspeter Kriesi, eds.) The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 380–412.10.1002/9780470999103.ch17Search in Google Scholar

Staggenborg, Suzanne (1995) “Can Feminist Organizations Be Effective?.” In: (Mira Marx Ferree and Patricia Yancey Martin, eds.) Feminist Organizations: Harvest of the New Women’s Movement. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pp. 339–355.Search in Google Scholar

Staggenborg, Suzanne (2012) Social Movements. Second Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Stychin, Carl F. (1997) “Queer Nations: Nationalism, Sexuality and the Discourse of Rights in Québec,” Feminist Legal Studies, 5(1):3–34.10.1007/BF02684854Search in Google Scholar

Tarrow, Sidney (1994) Power in Movement: Social Movements, Collective Action and Politics. Second Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Waaldijk, Kees (2000) “Civil Developments: Patterns of Reform in the Legal Position of Same-Sex Partners in Europe,” Canadian Journal of Family Law, 17(1):62–88.Search in Google Scholar

Warner, Tom (1991) “Introduction: Fear of a Queer Planet,” Social Text, 29:3–17.Search in Google Scholar

Warner, Tom (2002) Never Going Back. A History of Queer Activism in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.10.3138/9781442677623Search in Google Scholar

Warner, Tom (2010) Losing Control. Canada’s Social Conservatives in the Age of Rights. Toronto: Between the Lines.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2015-4-22
Published in Print: 2015-4-1

©2015 by De Gruyter

Downloaded on 22.2.2024 from https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/wps-2015-0005/html
Scroll to top button