peoplepill id: brent-hawkes
3 views today
3 views this week
Brent Hawkes

Brent Hawkes Canadian politician

Canadian politician
Brent Hawkes
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Canadian politician
Is Politician
From Canada
Type Politics
Gender male
Birth 2 June 1950, Bath, New Brunswick, Carleton County, New Brunswick, New Brunswick, Canada
Age: 70 years
The details


Brent Hawkes, CM ONB (born June 2, 1950) is a Canadian clergyman and gay rights activist.

Early life and education

Hawkes was born in Bath, New Brunswick to a Baptist family. Hawkes earned Bachelor of Science (1972) and Bachelor of Education (1973) degrees from Mount Allison University, and Master of Divinity (1986) and Doctor of Ministry (2001) degrees from Trinity College, an Anglican institution at the University of Toronto.

Religious career and activism

Since 1977, Hawkes has served as Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, a church openly affirming for LGBT parishioners.

Hawkes has served on the advisory committee of PrideVision TV, and served on the board of directors for advocacy group Egale Canada. In addition to his advocacy work on LGBT issues, he has supported anti-racist initiatives, drawn attention to poverty and poor housing, and advocated the ordination of female priests.

Hawkes at Pride Week in Toronto in 2010

On January 14, 2001, Hawkes gained national attention by performing a wedding ceremony for two same-sex couples at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto. Although city clerks would not issue marriage licenses for same-sex marriages at this time, Hawkes employed the alternative provided in Ontario law for regular church attendees to publish official banns for three consecutive weeks, and thereby conducted a legal marriage without requiring prior government permission. In the spirit of the banns as a public opportunity for interested parties to raise legal objections, the church also issued a press release in late 2000 announcing its intentions. The government of Jean Chrétien did not endorse the marriages, although Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson sent a personal letter of support. The city clerk refused to register the record of marriage, leading to a court battle. The church sued the city, the province and the federal government. On July 12, 2002, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the marriages performed by Hawkes in January 2001 were legal, but stayed its decision pending a possible appeal, and on June 10, 2003, the Court of Appeal for Ontario declared the common law definition of marriage as "invalid to the extent that it refers to “one man and one woman” in the ruling of Halpern v. Canada, immediately striking down all barriers against same-sex marriage in the province.

Hawkes was the officiant at the state funeral of Jack Layton, Leader of Canada's Official Opposition and head of the NDP, on August 27, 2011 at Roy Thomson Hall. A fellow New Democrat, he spoke highly of Layton who had touched millions of Canadians with his sudden death. In the end, he thanked Jack Layton for his work with the gay community and HIV/AIDS, issues the NDP leader had championed when they were not popular.

Political career

Hawkes briefly entered political life in the mid-1990s. In the Ontario provincial election of 1995, Hawkes ran as a candidate of the social-democratic New Democratic Party of Ontario in the riding of St. George—St. David, which has a large LGBT community. Running in protest against the Bob Rae government's handling of the failed Equality Rights Statute Amendment Act of 1994, he finished a strong third with 9,672 votes – less than one thousand votes behind the winner, Progressive Conservative Al Leach. Hawkes's strong showing played a major role in defeating incumbent Liberal Tim Murphy.

Television & Film Appearance

An independent documentary Jesus Meets The Gay Man produced by DDP Studios Inc in Toronto named Hawkes as part of its stars list

Criminal charges for sexual assault

On February 1, 2016, Hawkes was charged in the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia with the crimes of indecent assault and gross indecency for an alleged sexual assault against a minor that occurred between 1974 and 1975 when Hawkes was a teacher in Nova Scotia.

Hawkes pleaded not guilty. He was found not guilty of all charges on January 31, 2017.

Personal life

Hawkes lives in Toronto with John Sproule, his partner of more than thirty years. They married on March 7, 2006.

Honours and Awards

In 2009, Hawkes received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree for his continuing work in activism and human rights in Canada from York University. In 2010, Hawkes was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Mount Allison University, and in 2011 received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity College, Toronto.

Hawkes was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada by Governor General Michaëlle Jean in 2007 for his achievements as "a champion of human rights and social justice for decades" and was formally invested into the Order in a ceremony on February 22, 2008.

In 2012, Hawkes was named one of the "500 most influential gay men in the world" by the European gay magazine Mate; and in 2013 he was inducted into the Q Hall of Fame, as an individual who made significant contributions to LGBT human rights.

Hawkes has been the recipient of the following awards:

  • 1994 – City of Toronto Award of Merit
  • 1995 – United Nations Association in Canada Global Citizen Award
  • 2002 – Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2003 – City of Toronto Pride Award for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Two-Spirited Issues
  • 2009 – New Brunswick Human Rights Commission Pioneer of Human Rights Award
  • 2009 – American Psychological Association Clarity Award
  • 2012 – Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2014 – 2014 Inspire Lifetime Achievement Award, for his life’s work on LGBT rights.
  • 2014 – Grand Marshal of the 2014 World Pride Parade
  • 2014 – Achievement Award from Toronto City Hall for his contributions to World Pride
  • 2015 – Order of New Brunswick
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
comments so far.
arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up arrow-down instagram whatsapp myspace quora soundcloud spotify tumblr vk website youtube stumbleupon comments comments pandora gplay iheart tunein pandora gplay iheart tunein itunes