GAY BLACK STUDENT TO APPEAL QUEBEC HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION’S RULING ON PUBLIC AFFIRMATION OF GAY IDENTITY IN INTERNSHIP
Montreal, November 4, 2014 --- Believing that a recent ruling of the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission is a serious setback for LBGT and racial equality, a gay Black male social work student at McGill University is set to file for judicial review of the decision.
During his internship, the student was told by his field supervisor not to tell his female client that he is gay. Disagreements over his public affirmation of his gay identity led to the termination of the internship.
The ruling raises important issues for LGBT persons and for all workplaces as it is deemed to endorse employers’ authority to set conditions for gay employees’ right to be out on the job. For the social service sector in particular, the Human Rights Commission’s decision has the effect of restricting gay professionals and interns’ freedom to be openly gay at work, especially since the Canadian Association of Social Workers has no policy position on the issue.
The Commission’s ruling is also seen by many racialized LGBT persons as a dangerous precedent that creates a hierarchy of identities and forces them to choose between their racial and sexual identities, a condition not faced by white LGBT persons.
More to come