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John Damien

John Damien was fired by the Ontario Racing Commission in 1975 because of his sexual orientation. He filed a wrongful dismissal suit against the Commission in the Supreme Court of Ontario, and another suit for punitive damages against officials of the Ontario Jockey Club, the Commission, and the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations. The Ontario Human Rights Commission refused to investigate John Damien’s complaint on the grounds that it did not deal with cases related to sexual orientation. Damien was supported in his case by the Toronto Gay Alliance Toward Equality, the Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario, and many other gay rights activists. He was also part of a delegation that presented Ontario Minister of Labour Robert Elgiew with the brief “Discrimination and the Gay Minority.” In the end, the Ontario Racing Commission paid $50,000 into a trust fund, a trade-off for Damien dropping the suit. At that time, Damien had pancreatic cancer and died shortly after.

Names John Damien (Main)
BE [n75.28]
Related Pages https://lglc.ca/person/JDAM/
https://viaf.org/viaf/N/A/
Birth Date 1933
Death Date 1986/12/24
Death Place https://lglc.ca/place/WIND/
Activist [Yes - Pro]
Identities Gay
BG [n75.28] Canadian

BG [ISBN: 9781280114342]

Occupations Commision Racing Steward Racing Steward
[1970] - 1975/02/07

https://lglc.ca/event/n75.28

Steward
1969 - 1975/06/02

“Deliberations: Power, Interest and Gay Morality,” Body Politic, no. 103 (1984), p. 19
“Getting into Getting Sex,” Body Politic, no. 123 (1978), p. 14

Charges https://lglc.ca/place/TOR/
Libel
Dropped - 1978/01/11

“Racing Commission offical drops libel suit against Damien,” Body Politic, no. 48 (1978), p. 14

Associated People https://lglc.ca/person/JMOO/
(Antagonists)
Personal
5/13/1975

https://lglc.ca/event/n75.81

https://lglc.ca/person/TOMU/
(Antagonists)
Personal

“Damien’s supporters go to horse races,” Body Politic, no. 50 (1979), p. 4

https://lglc.ca/person/HKOP/
({Client})
Professional
3/21/1975 - 3/21/1975

https://lglc.ca/event/n75.48
https://lglc.ca/event/n75.28

https://lglc.ca/person/JMOO/
(Coworkers)
Professional
Occupational
5/13/1975

https://lglc.ca/event/n75.81

https://lglc.ca/person/BSTE/
(Antagonists)
Personal

“Damien case: minister interferes, government agencies collaborate,” Body Politic, no. 24 (1976), p. 6

https://lglc.ca/person/TOMU/
(Antagonists)
Personal

BCFI[“Damien’s supporters go to horse races,” Body Politic, no. 50 (1979), p. 4]

https://lglc.ca/person/PKEL/
({subjectInterview})
Professional
Occupational
1/27/1977

https://lglc.ca/event/n77.55

https://lglc.ca/person/CMCN/
({Employee})
Professional
Occupational - 1975/02

https://lglc.ca/event/n78.316

https://lglc.ca/person/JMOO/
(Coworkers)
Professional
Occupational
1975/05/13

BCDF [n75.81]

https://lglc.ca/person/TOMU/
({Patient})
Professional
Occupational
notAfter(1975)

https://lglc.ca/event/n78.316


“Ten years, and still fighting,” Body Politic, no. 111 (1985), p. 7

https://lglc.ca/person/PJEWE/
({Client})
Professional
Legal
notAfter(1977/02/05)

https://lglc.ca/event/n77.55

https://lglc.ca/person/BPOW/
({Client})
Professional
Legal
notAfter(1977/02/05)

https://lglc.ca/event/n77.55

Associated Places Carriage House (Patron)

https://lglc.ca/event/n73.98


“I’m Determined to Win,” Body Politic, no. 17 (1975), p. 12

Associated Organizations https://lglc.ca/organization/CDJD/ (Subject)
1975/02/22 - 1986/12/24

BCDE [n75.28]