Gay and Lesbian Association of Nova Scotia

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Gay and Lesbian Association of Nova Scotia

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The Gay Alliance for Equality (GAE) was a Halifax-based organization founded in the summer of 1972. It was incorporated in 1973, and changed its name to the Gay and Lesbian Association (GALA) in 1988. Its objectives were threefold: to provide services and resources for the gay community, to educate the public about homosexuality, and to effect change in discriminatory laws. To carry out these objectives, the organization created a help line (the "Gayline") which offered information, referral, and peer counseling, a Speaker's Bureau to educate the public about gay issues, and a civil rights committee to organize educational and political activity. In January 1976 GAE established a social club and bar on Barrington Street called the Turret. As the only gay bar in Halifax for many years the Turret became the social, political and even cultural center for Halifax's gay and lesbian communities, even hosting a national conference of gay organizations in 1978. In the summer of 1982 the Turret was closed and re-opened as Rumours Bar on Granville Street (moving to Gottingen Street in 1987). The bulk of the organization's revenues came from the bar; at its peak, it had revenues of about half a million dollars a year. Besides operating Rumours and the Gayline, GAE/GALA also organized activities for "Pride Week", protested anti-gay discrimination on the part of politicians, the law courts and the media, networked with other gay groups across Canada, and acquired funding for such projects as a community health promotion through the circulation of pamphlets. It also published its own newsletter (the Gaezette) and supported the successful campaign of Lesbian and Gay Rights Nova Scotia (LGRNS) to have sexual orientation included in the Human Rights Act in 1991. Because of financial problems GALA disbanded in 1995.


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