LGBT Town­ships’ group fundraiser

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

Po­lit­i­cal bound­aries are some­times erased for a com­mon cause. Such is the case of GRIS, the acro­nym for “Groupe re­gional d’in­ter­ven­tion so­ciale”. “Gris” means grey in French. The GRIS man­date is to fight ho­mo­pho­bia, a sub­ject once again in the news as In­di­ana, in the USA, un­der the usual guise of pro­tect­ing re­li­gious free­dom, has en­acted a law per­mit­ting dis­crim­i­na­tion along sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion lines. Next in line are surely laws copied from Rus­sia.

So the lo­cal chap­ter is or­ga­niz­ing a fundrais­ing event later in May. Noth­ing new there as such or­ga­ni­za­tions are al­ways do­ing it. What is new is that the two spokesper­sons for the event are both ‘grey’, not ex­actly young peo­ple usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with such an event. One is for­mer Health Min­is­ter, Dr. Ré­jean Hébert, and the other is a busi­ness woman, Renelle Anc­til, co-owner of the Rona box store in Sher­brooke. What is en­cour­ag­ing is the fact that the spon­sors of the event in­clude most of the re­gion’s MNA’s, all Lib­eral we must say.

Dr. Hébert of­fi­cially came out af­ter his elec­tion in 2013. Ms. Anc­til said that: “As for me, the fact that my part­ner is a woman was well ac­cepted. But this is not al­ways the case as I’ve seen work­ing with GRIS.” Ms. Anc­til, who is a mu­sic grad­u­ate of Bishop’s, re­ceived an hon­orary doc­tor­ate from the uni­ver­sity last year. She heads a multi-faceted com­pany, with stores in Sher­brooke, Ma­gog and Granby, plus a pre­fab hous­ing com­pany. Ho­mo­sex­u­als in busi­ness are com­ing out more and more, but les­bians a lot less.

A com­edy show fundraiser, in French, will take place in May. You can get more in­for­ma­tion on the Gris web­site: grises­trie.org.

Renelle Anc­til, Busi­ness­woman; Dr. Ré­jean Hébert, for­mer Health Min­is­ter and now teach­ing at niver­sit de ontr al, and Myr­iam Pel­letier Gil­bert, prési­dent of GRIS Estrie.

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