Breaking the Silence - University of Saskatchewan, March 21, 2015

                                                                                                            March 12, 2015

Dear Breakers of the Silence,
In a little more than a week on Saturday, March 21, Breaking the Silence (Year 18!) will be underway. Our theme is “Vision without action in simply dreaming.” When you review the summary of our program, we think you will agree that we have honoured our theme.

Some important basic information:
(1)  Easy online registration is available at http://www.usask.ca/education/breaking-the-silence/>.

(2)  Registration for high school students is free, but they must register so that we can make an accurate lunch and refreshments count.

(3)  The deadline for registration is midnight on Wednesday, March 18 (simply because we have to make an accurate food order on Thursday morning).

(4)  Free parking on campus is available in Parking Lot F adjacent to the Education Building. For a map, click on http://www.usask.ca/education/breaking-the-silence/bts-map.pdf.

(5)  Our program begins at 9am. Refreshments will be available from 8:30am.

A summary of our program

In the morning,
·       Seven Vancouver high-school activists will share with us their experience in influencing the Vancouver School Board to update their LGBTQ school policies;
·       We’ll honour the seventh recipient of the Peter Corren Award for Outstanding Achievement;
·       Helen Smith-McIntyre and Bill Rafoss (Amnesty International) will survey the persecution of LGBT people around the world.

In the afternoon, we’ll have breakout sessions on 
·       Trans families and their challenges,
·       Turning the tide in churches,
·       Thinking beyond LGB: Understanding asexuality,
·       How to be an activist,
·       Picture books: Our community, our children,
·       Intersex identities,
·       An LGBT 101 discussion of school washroom issues
·       Hidden histories: Gender & sexual diversity in Saskatchewan, and
·       You’ll have an opportunity to meet some of our Vancouver guests up close.

We’ll close with
·       A spoken word poetry event (a smash last year!), and
·       A visit from four very important mystery guests (no hints!).

At 5:00 p.m.  High school students will be invited to the University Pride Centre for pizza.
And at 7:30 p.m. The Avenue Community Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity will host an informal social.
            We look forward to meeting you again soon!


                                                                                                Don Cochrane
                                                                                                Chief Organizer

                                                                                                Breaking the Silence


Integrity/Saskatoon Monthly Meetings Discontinued - New Formats Being Considered

TO INTEGRITY/SASKATOON CONTACTS: Email addresses have been blocked to maintain their privacy. If you do not wish to receive notices from Integrity/Saskatoon, just REPLY stating your wish. 

The executive of Integrity/Saskatoon met Thursday, October 23 to discuss the future of the group.  The executive decided to discontinue monthly services.  The regular meetings which would have been November 12 and December 10 will not take place.   

The executive of Integrity/Saskatoon met Thursday, October 23, 2014 to discuss the future of the group.  The executive decided to discontinue monthly services.  The regular meetings which would have been November 12 and December 10 will not take place.  

But Integrity/Saskatoon is not shutting down. Over the next few months new formats will be considered to revitalize the group. One possibility being considered is for Integrity/Saskatoon to host a traditional Anglican service for the whole city, perhaps at the Anglican Cathedral in Saskaatoon on a Saturday Night once a month.  

Perhaps you can offer some ideas for the future.  Consider the following comments and let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions. 

Integrity/Saskatoon is the only organization that has been holding a regular monthly church service specifically for the LGBTQ community, and has been offering that service for 10 years as of this December.  However, attendance has been low for some time. Society changes in 10 years.  LGBTQ marriage is now a reality in Canada.  Many are now part of an accepting congregation and do not need a special group for worship purposes.  

Ten years of Integrity/Saskatoon is a long time.  They were years filled with some wonderful memories of working with friends to help others, who felt marginalized, realize that the Christian message was for them too.  It was a boost to our faith to see so many straight people alongside us at the meetings, people who shared our belief that the Gospel of Jesus is exactly what this self-destructive world sorely needs. 
Considering the wide variety of opinion in the Anglican communion, our church took a courageous stance, and did a remarkable balancing act for the times, in supporting Integrity/Saskatoon.  But the times have changed. Gay genocide is becoming a reality in parts of the world.  In the face of such injustice, an unresponsive church seems to be an irrelevant church which has betrayed the Gospel.  Over the last several months n group of people from several church and groups have been meeting, now calling themselves the LGBTQ Interfaith Justice Group of Saskatoon, to discuss action to encourage our interfaith organizations to oppose these injustices. 

So where does that leave Integrity/Saskatoon? Is there still a place for an LGBTQ focused religious service. How should the LGBTQ community maintain its profile in the church.  If you have any comments or suggestions please just use REPLY.

On behalf of the executive
Tom Rogers, Secretary


INTEGRITY/SASKATOON Meeting: Wednesday, September 10, 7:30 pm. St. John's Anglican Cathedral Hall

INTEGRITY/SASKATOON Meeting: Wednesday, September 10, 7:30 pm. St. John's Anglican Cathedral Hall, 816 Spadina Cres. East, Saskatoon. Group for the GLBTT community and friends. Includes worship open to all, followed by GLBTT reflections and a social/refreshment hour. All persons of good will are welcome! For Info Contact: Tom & Rose Rogers 306-491-3315, Web site:www.integritysaskatoon.blogspot.com Facebook: 'Integrity Saskatoon'.



Prisoners raise money for charity?  It's true; see the following story.  This remarkable story is a tribute to the  Christian gospel.  Some of the people in your congregation may wish to sponsor such a charity fundraiser (tax receipts are provided).  Please forward this email to other congregations at your discretion, with contact information of your choice.  Thank you, and have a good day.  --  Jim Komar


Not all prisoners are incorrigible criminals. With support from their churches, increasing
numbers of inmates find faith behind prison walls and become productive members of
society upon release. Last September, alumni of Experiencing God, a Christian renewal
program offered to inmates of the Bowden Institute, Innisfail, Alberta, walked 200 miles
around the prison exercise yard. With help from outside sponsors, they raised over $3600
to purchase school supplies for refugee children in war-torn Sri Lanka.
This year, the alumni will hold their second annual walk-a-thon on Saturday September 
13, rain or shine, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. As the Philippines have been devastated by
typhoons and are suffering very high unemployment, this year’s proceeds will go to help
rebuild a vocational training centre (VTC) there. The VTC teaches practical skills and
trades to the underprivileged to improve their job prospects. Incidentally, the Bowden
prisoners also make crosses for church buildings; and the VTC has requested one of the
crosses for the roof the building.

To make a donation to this project, send a cheque marked “Walk-a-Thon” and payable
to the Innisfail Church of the Nazarene. Mail directly to the Innisfail Church of the
Nazarene, 4904-48 Street, Innisfail, AB, T4G 1V1. Tax receipts are available on request
for donations over $10.00. For more information, contact Jim Komar (306-665-6913).


INTEGRITY/SASKATOON SERVICE - Wednesday, June 11, 7:30 pm. St. John's Anglican Cathedral Hall,

INTEGRITY/SASKATOON SERVICE - Wednesday, June 11, 7:30 pm. St. John's Anglican Cathedral Hall, 816 Spadina Cres. East, Saskatoon. Group for the LGBTQ community and friends. Includes worship open to all, followed by LGBTQ reflections and a social/refreshment time. All are welcome! For Info Contact: Tom & Rose Rogers 306-491-3315, Web site: www.integritysaskatoon.blogspot.com Facebook: 'Integrity Saskatoon'.


Uganda Martyrs Feast Day, June 3: raise questions on homosexuality, religion and LGBT rights

FROM THE 'JESUS IN LOVE BLOG'  Click the title to the left or copy the link below into your browser to see the article and more detail.



YouTube celebrates athletes who are #ProudToPlay


Stereotypes are like records: made to be broken

It doesn't matter what you look like, where you come from, or who you love. When it comes to sports, all that matters is you give it all you've got. Let's support a world where every athlete can be #ProudToPlay


Integrity/Saskatoon Meeting May 14, 2014 CANCELLED: Invitation to Religious LGBT Support Groups Meeting on May 22

The Integrity/Saskatoon Executive has cancelled the regular monthly meeting on May 14.  Instead you are invited to an ecumenical finger-food pot luck May 22.  RSVP by May 15 as noted below.

On April 15 we sent Integrity/Saskatoon contacts a report from our April 9 meeting. The meeting expressed dismay at the persecution of LGBT people in Russia, Nigeria, Uganda, and other countries, and agreed to initiate a meeting of religious LGBT support groups in Saskatoon to discuss working together.  Following is a copy of the April 24 email of invitation sent to Anglican, United, Lutheran churches in Saskatoon who have email addresses online, and the Unitarian Congregation, and Jewish Synagog in Saskatoon. Other religious groups may also be invited as interest is determined.

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN   April 24, 2014
FROM: Integrity/Saskatoon
Dear Friends:

Integrity/Saskatoon was re-organized in 2004 and has been meeting regularly since then. Our primary aim was to ensure full and equal membership for LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual) Christians in the Anglican Church of Canada, to make marriage and ordination to ministry available in our church to all qualified applicants regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. While we still have not reached that goal, we are making progress. Some faith groups, such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon, and the United Church of Canada, have already met those goals. Integrity has learned from them and is encouraged by their progress; we salute them.

Despite the progress, horror stories of gay witch hunts continue to emerge from Russia, Africa, and the Middle East. Closer to home, here in Saskatoon, gay-straight alliances are still not the norm in some high schools; and bullying continues widespread. There is still much to be done; and it might be that all of us could be more effective by getting to know each other better and pooling our resources. There is something to be said for the power of numbers.

To be sure, we have different traditions, beliefs, and cultures: some of us are Christians, and some of us belong to other faith communities; some of us are theists and some of us are humanists. But we do share a common humanity which posits the promotion of social justice through equality for all before the law. Getting to know each other better, with respect for our differences, might be a good way to start.

Accordingly, Integrity-Saskatoon is inviting you to participate in a roundtable discussion, with a finger food potluck, at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral on May 22. We are in the process of preparing an agenda for the meeting; and we respectfully request your inputs to the agenda, so that all the voices are heard as we learn from each other. Further details are given below.

Jim Komar
For the Integrity/Saskatoon Executive

DATE AND TIME: Thursday 22 May, 7-9 pm.

PLACE: Parish hall, St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, 816 Spadina Crescent,  Saskatoon, ample parking; Saskatoon city busses 1, 5, etc.

RSVP BY:  Thursday 15 May, with any Agenda inputs; number of attendees; to Barb and Lynne Clay, TEL: 306-664-3278, to register.  EMAIL:  barbandlynneclay@gmail.com


FOR INFORMATION: Tom Rogers, 306-491-3315rogerstomrose@gmail.com


Integrity/Saskatoon Meeting, this Wednesday, 7:30pm - AND Invitation to sign letter to Anglican Archbishop regarding anit-gay laws

INTEGRITY/SASKATOON MEETING - Wednesday, March 12, 7:30 pm. St. John's Anglican Cathedral, 816 Spadina Cres. East, Saskatoon. Group for the GLBT community and friends. Includes worship open to all, followed by GLBT reflections and a social/refreshment hour. All are welcome! For Info Contact: Tom & Rose Rogers 306-491-3315, Web site: www.integritysaskatoon.blogspot.com Facebook: 'Integrity Saskatoon'.

INVITATION TO SIGN A LETTER TO THE ANGLICAN PRIMATE OF CANADA REGARDING ANTI LGBT LAWS IN RUSSIA, UGANDA, AND NIGERIA:  At the request of the Integrity/Saskatoon executive Jim Komar has prepared a letter to the Primate of the Anglican Church in Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, asking him to respond publicly to the situation in these countries. We will have a copy of the letter at the Integrity/Saskatoon meeting this Wednesday. We invite you to come and sign the letter. The more signatures the more influence the letter will have.  If you want your name included but cannot attend you can REPLY to this email indicating your wish to be included and asking the Secretary of Integrity/Saskatoon, me, to sign on your behalf. Please also include your name and email address as confirmation of your identity.

We advised Bishop David Irving of the Anglican Diocese of Saskatoon of the letter and sent him a copy, to which he responded favourably as noted in the emails below. 

Tom Rogers, Secretary
Tom & Rose Rogers
1534 McKercher Drive
Saskatoon, SK., CANADA, S7H 5E1
rogerstomrose@gmail.com 306-491-3315

-- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, March 10, 2014 10:13 AM

Dear Jim,

Thank you for your email with the letter you are sending to Archbishop Hiltz. I would like to let you know everyone has not been silent, there have been a number of us speaking out but perhaps not loud enough. After reading your letter I think for myself the next step will be to take it to the local church leaders group, which meets monthly, to ask them all to sign on. I know there may not be 100% agreement but we can work with what we get. I start a two week holiday on Wednesday but our next church leaders meeting is not until April and I will be back for that meeting.
Please thank Integrity for taking the initiative on this issue.


From: Komar/Irwin [mailto:charliesplace@sasktel.net]
Sent: March-08-14 11:23 AM
To: David Bishop Irving
Cc: Tom Rogers, Secretary; James Komar

SAT 8 MAR 2014:

There is growing concern within Integrity-Saskatoon about the plight of LGBT people in Uganda, Nigeria, and Russia.  It has been noted that protest from civil governments and international corporations is rising; but so far the Church has been silent, except for a few local churches, some of them with support from powerful fundamentalist groups in the United States, which support the persecution of gays.

At an Integrity  meeting last week, it was decided to send a letter to the Primate to bring our concerns to his attention, requesting that he respond publicly to the situation, alone or preferably in collaboration with sympathetic provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion, through the World Council of Churches.  It was also hoped that this might encourage interdenominational protest, as this is a matter of basic human justice, and failure of the Church to respond could cloak it with the mantle of irrelevance to the modern world.

In submitting its letter to the Primate, Integrity-Saskatoon is speaking on its own behalf; it is not speaking for the diocese.  It takes sole responsibility for its actions.  Nevertheless, we feel that you, as our bishop, should be kept informed of developments.  To this end, a copy of our letter to the Primate is attached.  Should you consider it appropriate to initiate similar action within the diocese, or even interdenominationally within Saskatoon, we would of course support and assist with the task if called upon.


Jim Komar


Svend Robinson: A Life in Politics - Book Event

Svend Robinson: A Life in Politics -  Book Event
March 18th, 2014 at 7:00 pm
St. Thomas More College Room 344 Saskatoon

*Please distribute widely*

Ottawa-based author, Graeme Truelove, speaks about his new biography on former NDP Member of Parliament, Svend Robinson.

This free event will also include remarks from local environmentalist Peter Prebble about Robinson's environmental work over many years including his participation in protests at Clayoquot Sound and Haida Gwai. We will also hear about Robinson's advocacy on LGBTQ rights issues over his years in politics, including his experience as the first openly gay MP in Canada. Copies of Truelove’s book will be available for sale and light refreshments will be served following the event.
Svend Robinson made a mark in Canadian politics, both in the courage he showed in taking on important human rights, environmental and foreign policy issues, as well as in the tactics he used. He risked arrest on several occasions in the bold stands he took. As Jack Layton once said, "Svend Robinson was engaging in Direct Action before anyone had even coined the term." Come out and learn more about Robinson's life and legacy!

Special thanks to the University of Saskatchewan Department of Political Studies and Turning the Tide Bookstore for sponsoring this event.
Information about the book event in Regina on March 17th:

Read a review of the book by Judy Rebick here:
RSVP to the event on Facebook here:https://www.facebook.com/events/521931451251480/

For more information about this event, please contact:Tracey Mitchell at 306-244-4955 or facilitrace@gmail.com

Ugandan New Anti-gay Law

from News Talk 650 CKOM - Saskatoon Radio Station

Saskatoon LGBT activist weighs in on Ugandan law -Law makes homosexual acts punishable by at least 14 years in prison

Reported by Kurtis Doering
Tom Rogers with Integrity Saskatoon is optimistic when it comes to Uganda's new anti-gay law.
"It's a step backwards in Uganda for sure, as it was in Russia" he said. "But each step backwards, I think, is often met by a few steps forward."
Integrity Saskatoon is based in the Anglican Church, and offers advocacy and support to the LGBT community.
On Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a bill which imposes harsh penalties for homosexual acts.
Those acts now carry a first-time sentence of 14 years in prison. A charge of "aggravated homosexuality", meaning homosexual acts with a minor, a disabled person or someone infected with H.I.V., are punishable by a life sentence.
Such a law is not seen as extreme in most of Africa. According to Amnesty International, homosexuality is illegal in 38 of 54 African countries. Being gay is punishable by death in four of them.
Even this new Ugandan law is less extreme than one that was proposed there in 2009, in which some offenses carried the death penalty.
"Many of those countries have severe problems of poverty and sectorial violence" Rogers said, "why they would focus on an issue that is of no harm to them I don't know.
"I hope that our governments, since this is a government law, will also be stating very clearly to the Ugandan government that this is not a way to develop your country" he added.
The United States has already done just that. US Press Sercretary Jay Carney called the new law "abhorrent" and said that their government would be reviewing their relationship with Uganda.
Rogers remains hopeful that the change in attitude towards homosexuality Canada saw will eventually happen worldwide.
"On every occasion, I think, the truth comes out" he said. "Gay people are normal people who create a great contribution to society."
He said that harsh laws like the ones in Uganda and Russia can even serve to create useful dialogue about human rights.
"Little by little, chink by chink, the reality and the justice is improving. So I can invision the world improving" he said.
-With files from the Canadian Press



Whoa - there's a blizzard outside, Wednesday, February 12, so the Integrity/Saskatoon meeting tonight is cancelled. No valentines.


INTEGRITY Meeting - It's a lovers meeting : Wednesday, February 12, 7:30 pm. St. John's Anglican Cathedral, 816 Spadina Cres. East, Saskatoon. Group for the GLBTT community and friends. Includes Eucharist open to all, followed by GLBTT reflections and a social/refreshment hour. All are welcome! For Info Contact: Tom & Rose Rogers
306-491-3315, Web site: www.integritysaskatoon.blogspot.com Facebook: 'Integrity Saskatoon'.


INTEGRITY Meeting: Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 7:30 pm.

INTEGRITY Meeting: Wednesday, December 11, 7:30 pm. St. John's Anglican Cathedral, 816 Spadina Cres. East, Saskatoon. Group for the GLBTT community and friends. Includes Eucharist open to all, followed by GLBTT reflections and a social/refreshment hour.  All are welcome! For Info Contact: Tom & Rose Rogers 306-491-3315, Web site: www.integritysaskatoon.blogspot.com Facebook 'Integrity Saskatoon'



INTEGRITY Meeting: Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 7:30 pm.

INTEGRITY Meeting: Wednesday, November 13, 7:30 pm. St. John's Anglican Cathedral, 816 Spadina Cres. East, Saskatoon. Group for the GLBTT community and friends. Includes Eucharist open to all, followed by GLBTT reflections and a social/refreshment hour. Priest will be the newly ordained Rev. Emily Carr. All are welcome! For Info Contact: Tom & Rose Rogers 306-491-3315, Web site: www.integritysaskatoon.blogspot.com Facebook 'Integrity Saskatoon'



Co-Chair's Response To Anti-Gay Seminar

Integrity Saskatoon Co-Chair Ryan Willey shares his thoughts on Christian Counseling Services' "When Gay Comes Home" anti-gay seminar presented by Wilna van Beek at Rock of Ages Church.  The event advocated that gays should live celibate lives and attracted a large number of protesters.


Shameful Ex-Gay Event at local Church

September 24, 2013, Saskatoon.  Rock of Ages Lutheran Brethren church today sponsored another attempt by fundamentalist Christians to promote the idea that something is wrong with gays and that Jesus can save them. Organized by the Christian Counseling Society of Saskatoon the event featured Wilna van Beek speaking about her "restoration through Jesus Christ after having lived a gay lifestyle for many years." Despite the evidence of all credible professional organizations to the contrary and laws in some jurisdictions prohibiting such counseling the Christian fundamentalists continue to misrepresent their religion and to denigrate gays  (LGBTTQQ). The gay community protested the event by sending members to the event and by providing messages of gay affirmation in front of the church and to passers by as shown in the sidebar photos.

In 1996 the Canadian Psychological Association issued the following Policy and Position Statement:
"1996  - 2 Equality for lesbians, gay men, their relationships and their families
The Canadian Psychological Association supports the inclusion of sexual orientation as a protected ground of discrimination against lesbians, gay men, their relationships and their families in all human rights legislation, public policy, regulation, procedure and practice; and
The Canadian Psychological Association strongly opposes prejudice, bias and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in all areas including spousal and family relationships, benefits and privileges, employment, goods, services, facilities, housing and accommodation."

MSNBC August 29, 2013 reported "A U.S. federal appeals court on Thursday upheld California’s law prohibiting licensed professionals from counseling gay and lesbian minors to change their sexual orientation."

Monday August 19th, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey declared the practice of conversion therapy on minors  illegal in the state of New Jersey by signing into law bill A3500. Christie was found  in support of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) findings of conversion therapy in which results of conversion therapy were found to pose critical health risks including but not limited to depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem end suicidal thoughts."

The American Psychological Association (APA) has the following position statement:

"(Chicago, August 14, 1997). The Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association (APA) has passed a resolution affirming four basic principles with regard to treatments to alter sexual orientation, so-called conversion or reparative therapies.
These principles are:

  • Homosexuality is not a mental disorder and the APA opposes all portrayals of lesbian, gay and bisexual people as mentally ill and in need of treatment due to their sexual orientation;
  • Psychologists do not knowingly participate in or condone discriminatory practices with lesbian, gay and bisexual clients;
  • Psychologists respect the rights of individuals, including lesbian, gay and bisexual clients to privacy, confidentiality, self-determination and autonomy;
  • Psychologists obtain appropriate informed consent to therapy in their work with lesbian, gay and bisexual clients."
The resolution further states that the APA "urges all mental health professionals to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with homosexual orientation."


Integrity Co-Chair speaks out against X-Gay Event

Following is a copy of an article in the METRO magazine: Ryan Willey, Co-Chair of Integrity/Saskatoon speaks out about the problems created by claiming that the gay lifestyle is a choice which can be cured by prayer.