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Order of Canada
Brent Hawkes, C.M., O.N.B., LL.D., D.Min.
Toronto, Ontario [Canada]
Member of the Order of Canada
Awarded on May 3, 2007; Invested on February 22, 2008
Brent Hawkes has been a champion of human rights and social justice for decades. As the senior pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, he has been ministering to his gay and lesbian parishioners for 30 years. Through action, advocacy and education, he has helped to create a safe and inclusive community for gays and lesbians, and to raise awareness by training police officers and by establishing a program in Toronto high schools that supports gay youth. A man of fearless conviction, he presided over Canada's first same-sex union ceremony, and has continued to call for tolerance, understanding and respect for all Canadians.