Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes to receive Order of Canada



    CANADA BECOMES THE FIRST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD TO BESTOW ITS HIGHEST
    CIVILIAN HONOUR ON A GAY ACTIVIST

    TORONTO, Feb. 21 /CNW/ - The Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, gay activist and
senior pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, will be
invested as a member of the Order of Canada on Friday, February 22, 2008.
    The Order of Canada is Canada's highest civilian honour. Created in 1967,
the Order of Canada recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement,
dedication to community and service to the nation. Over the last 40 years,
more than 5,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the
Order.
    "To my knowledge, Rev. Dr. Hawkes, is the only person to receive their
country's highest honour in recognition of their gay activism," said Douglas
Elliott, founding president of the International Lesbian and Gay Law
Association.
    Rev. Dr. Hawkes has been a champion of human rights and social justice
for decades, and is a leading advocate in the struggle for equality of gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons. A man of fearless conviction, he
presided over Canada's first legal wedding of a same sex couple - also the
first in the world - and has continued to call for tolerance, understanding
and respect for all Canadians. Rev. Dr. Hawkes has previously been honoured
with 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.
    Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of
Canada, will preside over the 101st Order of Canada investiture ceremony at
Rideau Hall in Ottawa, which begins at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.





For further information:

For further information: Robert Dykeman, Metropolitan Community Church,
(416) 406-6228 ext. 107; Marie-Eve Létourneau, Rideau Hall Press Office, (613)
998-0287; Isabelle Serrurier, Rideau Hall Press Office, (613) 998-7280

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METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH OF TORONTO

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