Reverend Dr. Cheri DiNovo, C.M. is an ordained United Church minister who performed Canada’s first legalized same sex marriage. She is currently the minister at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre for Faith Justice and the Arts.
Cheri is a Member of the Order of Canada, recognized for her contributions to provincial politics and for her lifelong advocacy of social justice.
As the former MPP for Parkdale–High Park, Cheri passed into law more pro-LGBTQ legislation than anyone in Canadian history, including Banning Conversion Therapy in Ontario, Parent Equality, and Trans Rights in the Human Rights Code. First elected into the Ontario Legislature in a by-election in 2006, she was re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2014.
Cheri has been a 50+ year activist for LGBTQ issues. She was the only woman in Canada to sign the ‘We Demand’ statement in 1971—the first demand for gay rights on Parliament Hill. In 2012, Cheri succeeded in getting Toby’s Act passed, an amendment to the Ontario Humans Rights Code to include gender identity and gender expression—the first of its kind in North America. She made history again in 2015 by successfully passing Bill 77, which prohibits “Conversion Therapy” for youth (therapy intended to prevent young people from identifying as LGBTQ). This ground-breaking legislation also de-listed “conversion therapy” from OHIP. Following Cheri’s introduction of the Bill, President Barack Obama called for a ban of the practice in the United States, and Manitoba tabled legislation to ban the practice as well. Cheri has championed Parental Equality for LGBTQ parents with her Bill, Cy and Ruby’s Act. Cheri has also been honoured to be the Grand Marshal in Toronto’s Pride Parade.
Cheri is known as the “Queen of tri-party bills” fo