Ontario Citizenship Minister Elaine Ziemba addressed a group of about 50 homosexual and lesbian students January 29, 1991, at the University of Toronto on the occasion of ‘Lesbian and Gay Awareness Week.’
Throughout the hour-long meeting, Ms. Ziemba bent over backwards in her attempt not to appear ‘homophobic’.
The first thing she did was to dismiss the idea that homosexuals are connected to the AIDS plague.  She called this a ‘myth.’  (In 1988 96.4 per cent of Toronto’s AIDS patients were homosexuals.)
From her talk, the listener might have thought there were more than two sexes.  This ‘third’ sex – the ‘gay/lesbian’ – was being persecuted beyond all reason.  “An injury to one is an injury to all,” she said, likening the struggle of blacks to gain civil rights with the homosexualist campaign to gain the approval of society.
Rights Commissioner
Ms. Ziemba went on to ponder choosing a homosexual to fill a vacancy on the Ontario Human Rights Commission.  This made the newspapers sit up and take notice, especially the Toronto Star which promotes this kind of thing.
“Attitudes have started to change,” the minister declared.  “I don’t think 10 or 15 years ago we would have been having the same attitudes and conversation.  I think there is hope,” she said.
During the question and answer period, a young homosexual who had moved here from Nova Scotia said that he was thrilled that the Ontario NDP had got elected and he added that he “hoped to continue to be thrilled with the NDP government.”
Another questioner identified himself as an activist with Queer Nation, an organization that has adopted outrageous tactics like public “kiss-ins”.  It is related to ACT-Up, a militant U.S. homosexual organization notorious for its public disruptions of religious celebrations.  For example, members and supporters of ACT-Up/New York City have interrupted Cardinal John O’Connor’s St. Patrick’s Day Mass in that city for several years running.
The representative of Queer Nation informed Ms. Ziemba that the group would monitor the situation in Ontario.  He wanted to be assured that in the future same-sex partners would get full legal protection.
She explained that the federal government has refused to make changes to their ‘opposite sex ruling’ in spite of the Ontario NDP government’s efforts to have them do so.
‘Catholic’ and ‘gay’
A third questioner, who claimed to be a supply teacher in a west-end secondary school of the Metropolitan Separate Board, identifies himself as Catholic and ‘gay’.
He complained that he would be fire if the MSSB found out that he was a homosexual.  He contended that former Archbishop G. Emmet Cardinal Carter did not want anything positive about homosexuals taught in Catholic schools.  The Citizenship Minister assured him that “employment equity is close to [Premier] Bob Rae’s heart.”
The Ministry of Education is reviewing how the issue of ‘sexual orientation’ is handled in schools, Ms. Ziemba said, adding that she would like to see it addressed as early as the primary grades.
According to the flyer distributed at the meeting, Ms. Ziemba’s talk, “Homophobia and the Role of Government,” was presented with the support of the University of Toronto Democrats.  Major funding came from Gays and Lesbians at U of T (GLAUT), the student Administrative Council, and the Assistant Vice-President for Student Affairs of the U of T Faculty Association.