Gemma Schlamp-Hickey is a busy, busy person.
She’s Chair of the Board of the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador, Training Coordinator for Community Mediation Services, has held positions at the Sexual Health Centre, was president of Egale (a national organization that fights for LGBT rights), helped orchestrate the 2004 court case for same-sex marriage rights in the province, and was an NDP candidate in last year’s by-election in Kilbride… And she plans to run as an NDP candidate in the next provincial election as well.
In 2004, as President of Egale Canada, she was involved in the court challenges going on at the time across the country. And she wanted to make it happen in her home province as well.
“I didn’t want Newfoundland and Labrador to be the last province to have same-sex marriage,” she says. “I knew eventually it would come, but I really wanted to put the province on the map in terms of LBGT rights.”
She convinced some of her national contacts to get involved in a court case here in the province, and after finding two lesbian couples who were interested in marriage and didn’t mind being public about it, she contacted a lawyer and started the case.
And in late December 2004, Newfoundland and Labrador was the 7th province to legalize same-sex marriage.
Schlamp-Hickey herself just celebrated her one year wedding anniversary with her wife Wendolyn on July 15.
“They say if you get through your first year of marriage then you’re all set,” she laughs. “Certainly it’s been a year of adjustments but many rewards
“We’re very happy.”
What is your current obsession?
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
The NDP forming a government.
What super-power do you secretly possess?
I can see through the platforms of my political opponents with my X-ray NDP “vision”.
What is your principal defect?
Ask my wife.
What sound or noise do you love?
Danny Williams telling people not to vote Conservative in the next federal election.
What sound or noise do you despise?
Empty promises from Stephen Harper.
What job other that your own would you like to attempt?
Premier (sorry Danny.)
What job would you not like to do?
Leader of the Opposition (sorry Gerry.)
Where (other than Newfoundland and Labrador) would you like to live?
Is there any other place to live?
How would you like to die?
Like I live… hard and fast.