The Queer Evangelist: Getting into Politics

Sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Recorded on 04/14/2021
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 187

In 2001, United Church of Canada minister Cheri DiNovo conducted the first legal same sex marriage. This led to prominent news coverage and a member of Parliament reaching out and suggesting she run for office. Though Cheri had a history of social justice activism, she was new to the traditional political process and its challenges. “I thought … perhaps I could accomplish more sitting in one of those seats in government than I could standing at the pulpit, and so I threw my hat in the ring. And I was incredibly naive. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.”

In this second episode, Cheri dives into the perils and grit of securing a party nomination—an undertaking she wouldn’t repeat if she had known the vitriol she’d receive from the press. Cheri also reviews the legislation she passed during her time in office, including a $10 minimum wage bill and Toby’s Act, which bars discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

About the guest:

Cheri DiNovo
Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre for Faith Justice and the Arts

Cheri DiNovo grew up in Toronto in a rooming house owned by her parents and spent time on the streets as a teenager, leading to her to social activism. Formerly a member of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, she is host of The Radical Reverend Show, and Minister at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre for Faith Justice and the Arts. Her book Qu(e)erying Evangelism: Growing a Community from the Outside In won the Lambda award in 2005. She has won numerous awards for her activism and is a Member of the Order of Canada.

Enjoy the episode? Check out the rest of the series: