the 2005 karl - canada's george hislop
The first winner of the Karl is George Hislop of Toronto, Canada.
George Hislop is a pioneer of gay activism in Canada. He has been actively involved in our struggle for equality all his adult life. He was recently described by a Superior Court judge as a “legend” in his native city. Mr. Hislop was a founding member of Ontario's first gay rights organization, the University of Toronto Homophile Association, in 1969. He and his late partner Ronald Shearer were the first same sex couple to “come out” in the national media in Canada.
For many years, Mr. Hislop was the executive director of the Community Homophile Association of Toronto. Mr. Hislop was active in helping to securing anti-discrimination protection for gays and lesbians at the city, provincial and national level. He was the first openly gay person in Canada to seek elected office.
Mr. Hislop has also been a leader in health issues in our communities, having served on the Board of the AIDS Committee of Toronto and as the long time President of the Hassle Free Clinic.
Mr. Hislop was recognized by his community for his life of achievement by being selected as the Grand Marshall of the 2004 Toronto Pride Parade.
At the age of 78, Mr. Hislop is spearheading a national class action in Canada for federal pensions for surviving same sex partners under Canada's Charter of Rights. He was victorious at trial, resulting in a multi-million dollar judgment that is the largest monetary award for discrimination awarded to our communities anywhere in the world.
Mr. Hislop is a true pioneer in the sprit of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs. Ulrichs encouraged gays and lesbians of their duty to denounce discrimination when he wrote, “Speak, speak or be judged!” George Hislop continues to speak out for our communities as he has all his adult life.
ILGLaw is pleased to honour George Hislop of Canada with its first ever Karl. The Karl will be presented at our gala dinner at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club on the evening of Tuesday, June 28, 2005.