Human Sexuality and Public Law


October 2020

Follow this URL ( to see an excerpt from LGBTQ2+ Law: Practice Issues and Analysis (2020). We also have seven print copies in our collection. The chapters cover intersections between sexuality and the law, and include 20 personal stories of LGBTQ2+ individuals’ who’ve fought to reform the Canadian legal system. Harvey Brownstone, Canada’s first openly gay judge, tells his story of a conversation with another judge who said “Well, Harvey, getting to know and becoming friends with a gay colleague like you helped me to understand the implications of the legal issue I was required to resolve.” The issue was a same-sex couple’s right to adopt children, which was granted. The lesson from the exchange was something larger: the “moral opprobrium” against non-heteronormative sexuality will not detach itself from the legal system on its own accord. It requires the aid of drivers and catalysts — diversity in the legal profession being one of them. “That comment,” notes Judge Brownstone, “made me realize in a very profound way the importance for judges themselves of having diversity on the bench.”

Another driver and catalyst is the role of public law intervenors. There are few textbooks directly on the subject of intervenors and intervention law, however there’s a free resource through our Irwin Law collection on the Remote Access Subscription Database (see called “Five More Minutes: Representing Public Interest Interveners Thirty-Five Years After the Charter” under the Special Lectures 2017 title.