Wilson, Doug, 1950-1992

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Wilson, Doug, 1950-1992

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Douglas Wilson was born in 1950 in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. He received his Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan, with majors in Art and History. He taught public school in Makwa, Saskatchewan, in 1969-1970 and 1973-1974. He did post-graduate work in Educational Foundations at the University of Saskatchewan between 1974 and 1976. During this period, he worked as a sessional lecturer and supervisor of practice teaching for the College of Education. While living in Saskatoon during the early 1970s, Wilson was actively and visibly involved in the gay liberation movement. He was instrumental in the organization and administration of groups such as the Zodiac Friendship Society (later the Gay Community Centre of Saskatoon) and the Saskatchewan Gay Coalition. The latter organization fought for the human rights of homosexuals in the province, and in the later 1970s Wilson was the group's leading activist. On September 22, 1975, Dean J. Kirkpatrick of the College of Education suspended Wilson's work as a supervisor of practice teaching in public schools, on the grounds of Wilson's open admission of his homosexuality and his public involvement in the gay liberation movement. A Committee to Defend Doug Wilson was formed to fight the university's action, and Wilson placed a formal complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. The Commission planned to go ahead with a formal inquiry into the case, but the process was halted when the university won an application to the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench for an order to prohibit the inquiry based on the argument that, at the time, discrimination on basis of a person's sex referred to gender rather than sexual orientation. The inquiry was never held. In 1978, Wilson became the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Association on Human Rights, a position which he held until 1983. In 1983 he moved to Toronto, where he worked for the Toronto Board of Education's Race Relations office. Wilson died from AIDS in Toronto in 1992.

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