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Queer McGill holds Fall General Assembly

Pledges support to Gay Village and Iranian LGBTQ community

Queer McGill (QM) held its Fall General Assembly (GA) on Tuesday in the wake of internal restructuring.

GA chairs Grace Khare and Aliénor Lemieux-Cumberlege began by introducing a new organizational structure based on working groups, which according to Lemieux-Cumberlege would “involve more people, incite more discussions and debates, and be more inclusive of member interests.”

These would include first years and newcomers, francophone, queer people of colour, and trans* working groups.

There will also be a political action working group, a social working group, and Allies Montréal and QueerLine working groups.

Following a financial report by the Finance Coordinator and the election of Kimberly Bae as the new External Communications Coordinator, two motions were put forth.

The first, “An Inclusive Village,” was a critique of the increased policing of Montreal’s Gay Village due to the alleged presence of “undesirables,” a term sometimes used to refer to the homeless, drug addicts, and sex workers who reside in the Village.

The motion received an ambivalent reaction from the constituency as many felt it ignored the necessity of the presence of vigilance in the area.

It was amended to affirm QM’s commitment to the introduction of social work organizations to the Village as an alternative to an “oppressive increase” in police presence.

The amended motion passed with 15 for, seven against, and seven abstentions.

The second motion, “War With Iran,” condemned the “ill-treatment of LGBT communities in Iran” but “opposed it being used as a justification for a potential war on the country.”

A number of people at the GA claimed that the motion had misplaced intentions.

Former QM Resource Coordinator Edward Langstone said, “Queer people don’t necessarily want to be contextualized in a political light.”

Another attendee felt that the motion was too “queer-centric” and that it ignored the much larger context of the Iranian conflict.

QM council member Eliot Hautefeuille claimed that the motion was “not representative of all the [constituents] of Queer McGill,” as it unnecessarily politicized what was meant to be a social group.

Many others, however, were in favour of the motion and its message.

One attendee – who said she was Iranian by birth – supported the motion and stated, “Wars are never fought over human rights. They never have [been] and never will. The use of queers as an excuse for a dreadful thing like war is unacceptable.”

In the end, the motion passed on computers at the GA.