The Liberal Party has a lot of work to do this weekend as Liberals from across the country schlep to Ottawa for our biennial convention. This morning we are all reminded of what exactly is at stake as it appears that Stephen Harper is engaging dog-whistle politics over marriage-equality.
A few weeks ago a newly-formed group, the Liberal Queer Caucus, caught my eye. The Liberal Party is the party of same-sex marriage but we have been pushed aside, in perception, as the progressive party of LGBTQ rights by the NDP.
I contacted the LQC’s Director of Communications, Christopher Ide, with some question about the Liberal Queer Caucus and he promptly responded:
The Liberal Queer Caucus (LQC) is a newly formed grassroots group made up of Liberal supporters who self‐identify as belonging to the LGBTQ community. Long‐term, we are committed to:
1. representing the interests and values of queers to the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC);
2. encouraging the fair participation of queers at all levels within the LPC; and,
3. communicating Liberal values to queer Canadians.
More immediately, we’re dedicated to identifying and connecting with queer Liberals interested in working with the LQC to execute our mandate. We’d like to grow the caucus to include members from every region, coast to coast. The Liberal Biennial Convention will be a great opportunity for LQC to do just that.
In the spirit or renewal and as newly elected members to the executive of the Toronto‐Danforth Federal Liberal Association, Brad Lister and I began brainstorming around ways in which our riding association could reconnect with the queer community. Brad enlisted the help of several queers from various ridings: Penny‐Lane Beames, Kelly Foote, Phillipe Murphy‐Rheaume, and Jerry Jarosinski to name a few. After two successful friend‐raisers in December, LQC supporters made their wishes quite clear: the movement needed to grow beyond the Toronto‐
Danforth riding. Liberal supporters nationwide are now joining the cause.
Since our launch, the LQC has hosted three well supported socials and a fourth is scheduled to take place during the Biennial Convention on Saturday January 14th from 8:00PM to 10:00PM (and onward) at the Lookout Bar in Ottawa (41 York Street, Byward Market).
Post convention, the LQC is hosting a participatory Coffee House at The 519 Church Street Community Centre in Toronto (519 Church Street) on Sunday January 29th from 2:30PM to 4:30PM. Not another talking heads meeting, queers will begin working to fulfil our short‐term and long‐term commitments. Participants will be able to create and manage their own agenda in parallel working sessions. Potential working sessions may include: articulating the Liberal Party’s past and present support for the LGBTQ community, communicating the Conservatives’ antiqueer agenda, developing internal (e.g., fair representation of queers in the House of Commons and Senate) and external policy positions, LQC governance and infrastructure, etc.
More personally, I was a disaffected Liberal who had let my membership lapse years ago. To help rebuild a party whose values I share, I renewed my membership not long after the 2011 federal election. The queer caucus has provided me with an opportunity to actively engage with the party, like‐minded queers and queer allies. Together, we will create an inspired caucus that will deliver extraordinary results with regularity.
Director of Communications
Liberal Queer Caucus
firstname.lastname@example.org | @queercaucus (twitter)