Gay rights activist given Canada’s highest honour

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The Reverend Brent Hawkes, a campaigning clergyman and LGBT community leader and activist, has been invested into the Order of Canada.

Rev Hawkes is the senior pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto.

For more than three decades, Rev. Hawkes has been a champion of GLBT equality.

He is widely credited with inspiring the 2003 court case that led to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Ontario.

The case was instrumental in the 2005 passage of the Civil Marriage Act, which allowed same-sex marriage throughout Canada.

Joe Solmonese, president of the US-based Human Rights Campaign, said:

“HRC is so pleased that Canada has chosen to recognise Rev. Hawkes for his leadership and dedication to GLBT civil rights and marriage equality.

“For his tireless service and commitment, the GLBT community, not just of Canada, but the world, owes Rev. Hawkes a debt of gratitude.”

The Order of Canada is given to individuals for a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to nation.

Other awards Rev. Hawkes has received include the City of Toronto’s Award of Merit, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the United Nations Toronto Association Global Citizen Award and the YMCA Peace Medal.