OUT NORTH takes aim
Gays and lesbians target family law bill

by Mark Sproxton
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 30/97) - Gays and lesbians in Yellowknife are hoping a new group will increase the strength of their collective voices.

OUT NORTH held a founding meeting Sunday and is in the process of becoming a full-fledged society.

"It is evident there is a role to be played by a local group in terms of public information, education and advocacy," said spokesperson Zoe Raemer.

"We've never found Yellowknife to be a particularly prejudiced or homophobic community, but there is still a need for public education."

The family law review currently being held across the North is one area to which the group will turn its attention.

"We will definitely have some comments and ideas to add to that bunch of legislation," Raemer said.

The founding meeting was held at the same time as the executive director with a national advocacy group came to town.

"I was struck by the people's energy and interest," John Fisher of Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere said of the local group. "There are a lot of good people who are active and capable."

Fisher visited Yellowknife on a cross-Canada tour to get a national perspective on issues facing gays and lesbians.

Raemer said with the federal election campaign now on, OUT NORTH wants to know where local candidates stand on gay and lesbian issues.

"I don't think you'll see us marching in the streets, but we're going to be active and active soon," she said. "We'll be focusing on the things where we feel we can make a difference."

The group will approach city council in an attempt to have gay pride week officially recognized in the city. Similar requests have been turned down in the past.