FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2003
MONTRÉAL - The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference (SOGIC) of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has named Anne-France Goldwater of Montréal the recipient of its 2003 SOGIC Ally Award.
“Ms. Goldwater has been a tireless advocate of equality and justice throughout her career,” says Michael Law of Winnipeg, co-chair of SOGIC. “She reminds us all that inclusion is the most effective way to fight against discrimination.”
Since her call to the Québec Bar in 1981, Ms. Goldwater has served as one of the founding partners of Goldwater Dubé, a family and matrimonial law practice in Montréal. With clientele from across North America, the firm now includes sub-specialties in international kidnapping and parental alienation syndrome.
In 2002, Ms. Goldwater and her law partner Marie-Helene Dubé helped win an important decision for gay and lesbian couples in Québec. The firm represented Michael Hendricks and his partner René Leboeuf before the Québec Superior Court. A couple for 25 years, Mr. Hendricks and Mr. Leboeuf were denied a marriage licence in 1998 and took their fight to wed to court. In September of that year, the judge ruled that denying gays and lesbians the right to marry was a violation of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The judge also ruled that granting gay and lesbian couples ‘civil unions’ was not enough: it is the right to marry that represents true equality.
At the time, that decision, coupled with a similar decision of the Ontario Superior Court, was a major victory for gay and lesbian rights in Canada and eventually helped pave the way toward the 2003 decision by the federal government to re-shape the federal government’s definition of the term “marriage.”
“What really puts an end to discrimination against gays and lesbians,” says Ms. Goldwater, “is the simple recognition that marriage and family includes gays and lesbians, like everyone else, with love and heartbreak, union and dissolution, birth of children and loss of life partners.”
In addition to her case work, Ms. Goldwater has also lectured and written articles on a host of family law issues, including parental alienation, bankruptcy and long-distance custody cases. She graduated from the McGill University Faculty of Law in 1980.
The SOGIC Ally Award recognizes contributions made in the cause of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and two-spirited people. The Award is presented at the Touchstone Reception, held as part of the Canadian Legal Conference in Montréal on Tuesday, Aug. 19 at 4:30 p.m. in the Les Courants room of the Delta Centre-Ville. The event is open to accredited journalists who have registered with the CBA Media Centre.
The Canadian Bar Association represents the legal profession on a national and international level. It is dedicated to improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Some 38,000 lawyers, notaries, law teachers and law students from across Canada are members.
CONTACT: Hannah Bernstein, Aug. 15-19, CBA Media Centre, Palais des congrès, Room 523B, (514) 871-5823.