2020 SOGIC awards recipients named

  • September 01, 2020

Women from Manitoba have been named this year’s recipients of the Hero and Ally awards presented by the CBA’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community.

Robynne B. Kazina, a lawyer with Taylor McCaffrey in Winnipeg, is this year’s recipient of the Ally Award, which recognizes excellence by lawyers, professors, law students or judges who are not members of the LGBTQ2+community but who have nonetheless advanced the cause of that community.

Ms. Kazina has developed an expertise in fertility law and assisted reproduction, especially in the LGBTQ2+communities. She’s been active in promoting changes to legislation and protocols to bring them in line with society’s changing definition of the family. She is actively involved in educating the general public, the LGBTQ2+communities and professionals about related protocols and legal issues. She also brought a notice of application for a constitutional challenge to the Family Maintenance Act on behalf of seven LGBT couples. The pro bono case seeks to change the definition of “parent” to allow couples who undergo assisted reproduction to be deemed to be the parents of a child.

This year’s Hero Award goes to Kristine Barr, also of Winnipeg. The Hero award recognizes excellence by lawyers, professors, law students or judges who are members of the LGBTQ2IS community in advancing the cause of the community either through a single important action or a series of actions, or who have served as a role model.

Ms. Barr was the first out lesbian school trustee in Manitoba elected in four consecutive elections, eventually rising to Chair of the Board – a high-profile, visible lesbian serving Winnipeg’s largest school division. She is an inspiration, speaking openly at conferences and to the media about safe schools and how to address homophobia and transphobia. She was a public advocate in favour of equal marriage and has spoken persuasively at legislative standing committees on issues affecting the community from adoption rights to gay-straight alliances in schools. She has been an active CBA member, serving on the Manitoba Branch council, and holding executive positions in SOGIC at both the Branch and National levels.

The CBA extends its congratulations to this year’s recipients. The awards will be presented at the CBA Transfer of the Chain ceremony on September 10th in Winnipeg.