Wynne says Charter allows her to 'live without fear'

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne with her partner, Jane, at the Atlantis Pavilion at Ontario Place....

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne with her partner, Jane, at the Atlantis Pavilion at Ontario Place. (DAVE THOMAS/QMI Agency)

Antonella Artuso ,Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 2:32 PM ET

TORONTO — Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne says she and her spouse Jane Rounthwaite can live “without fear” because of the protection provided to them under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Wynne told a group of students learning English as a second language at a Toronto immigration services centre that everyone benefits from the bill of rights.

“The charter protects us; it protects our freedom; it guarantees our rights no matter who we are or what we believe,” Wynne said. “In my lifetime, in my adult life, thanks to the Charter of Rights, the rights of gay people were recognized... Jane and I can live without fear because of the values that we all share.”

Wynne was touring the Costi Corvetti Education Centre Friday, which provides ESL classes and other supports for newcomers to Canada.

The Liberal leader later told reporters that her partner Jane knows what it's like to grow up feeling different from others.

Wynne had been in a heterosexual marriage and said she enjoyed the privileges of that position in society.

At 37, Wynne began a relationship with Rounthwaite, a long-time friend she met in university, and they are now married.

“(Jane) spent many, many, many years not talking about her social life, not being open in her place of work and having to pretend something other than who she was,” Wynne said. “That's a very common story among gay, lesbian, bi, transgendered kids.

“I want to believe, and I do believe, because of where we live in Canada, in Ontario, that we can have a society that allows everyone to be who they are. And so kids like Jane and kids who are growing up questioning who they are will have the supports in all of our schools to be exactly who they are,” Wynne said.


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