LGBT Townships’ group fundraiser
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.