Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tim Stevenson (b. Vancouver, British Columbia) is a Canadian politician and United Church clergyman. He is currently an elected member of the Vancouver City Council as a member of Vision Vancouver and the only openly gay city councilor.
Stevenson was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. He received a B.A. from the University of British Columbia, a M.A., Spirituality from Holy Names College in Oakland, California and a M.Div from the Vancouver School of Theology. In 1992 he was ordained by the British Columbia conference of the United Church of Canada. He was the first openly gay person to be ordained by the United Church. (Other United Church ministers had come out after their ordinations). In 1993 he was hired as the minister of St. Paul's United Church in Burnaby, after being first promised a job at a church in Winnipeg and then rejected due to controversy about his homosexuality within the congregation. He also served as a board member at the First United Church in the Downtown Eastside for 10 years.
Stevenson has worked in the Philippines and South Africa. In 1991 he was a Canadian representative at the African National Congress conference in Durban when Nelson Mandela was elected ANC party president. In 1994 he was an international observer in South Africa's first election after the fall of apartheid. Also in South Africa he has worked with the Black Liberation Gay and Lesbian Movement and other organizations that focus on social injustices.
In the 1996 provincial election he was elected in Vancouver-Burrard to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia as a member of the New Democratic Party of British Columbia. He served as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Health and between 2000-2001 he held a cabinet position as Minister for Employment and Investment. He was the first openly gay provincial cabinet minister in Canada. In the 2001 provincial election he lost to his BC Liberal opponent, Lorne Mayencourt. In 2002 he was elected to the Vancouver City Council in British Columbia. As a member of the city council and board member of Tourism Vancouver, he best known for modernizing Vancouver's entertainment and tourism industry. When gay marriage became legalized in British Columbia, Tim Stevenson performed one of the first gay weddings.
Stevenson was a candidate in the 2005 B.C. provincial election in the Vancouver-Burrard riding.
Conflicting results throughout election night had both Stevenson and Mayencourt declared the victor in Vancouver-Burrard, and the uncertainty continued for several weeks. In the official count of regular ballots, Stevenson was declared the winner by 17 votes. However, when absentee ballots were counted on May 30, 2005 Mayencourt was declared the winner by a margin of 18 votes. After a judicial recount, Mayencourt was declared the victor by 11 votes.
Stevenson won re-election as a city councilor in the 2005 Vancouver municipal election as a member of Vision Vancouver.
On 17 July 2007, Stevenson pleaded guilty to impaired driving and was fined C$600.00.
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