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Saskatchewan to Review Proclamation Guidelines
Pride Committee input urged, future proclamation requests encouraged

THE minister responsible for issuing proclamations by the Saskatchewan government said today that he has directed his department to perform a review of proclamation guidelines.

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Pride Committee Takes On Saskatchewan Government
"The guidelines are not very helpful and [are] out-of-date," Minister of Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs Jack Hillson told in an interview.

The statement comes in the wake of the Saskatchewan government refusing Monday for the second time this year to proclaim the province-wide Pride celebration scheduled for June 24th in Regina.  The Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Pride Committee of Regina, on behalf of organizations across the province, filed a complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission the next day.

"I'm personally disappointed [in the guidelines]," continued Mr. Hillson.  "[They're] far from satisfactory and need some work," he added.

The minister went on to say that the Saskatchewan government has stayed away from proclamations on issues of sexuality as well as religious and personal matters.  When questioned regarding the view that being gay or lesbian is a choice, he emphatically stated that it is not.

Mr. Hillson said that the province's position on gay and lesbian issues is a positive one and referenced amendments made by it to Saskatchewan's human rights code to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

"[We're] strong supporters and have taken some political hits [for it]," he declared.

He also said he was unaware that Pride in Saskatchewan this year will be a province-wide celebration.

The minister urges the Pride Committee to provide input during the government's review of the proclamation guidelines, and encourages them to apply again next year.

The Pride Committee's position in complaining to the Human Rights Commission is that the government's proclamation refusal is in direct contradiction with the above-mentioned amendments to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code made in 1993.