Canada: Vancouver LGBT activist Jim Deva dies in freak accident

Nick Duffy September 22, 2014
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A Vancouver activist who won a court challenge over his right to sell LGBT-themed books has died in a freak accident.

Jim Deva – who co-owned Little Sister’s bookstore in the city – launched a legal challenge against the Canadian Border Services Agency in the 1980s over his right to import the books.

The border agency considered gay-themed books ‘obscene’, but after a legal battle spanning two decades, the country’s Supreme Court eventually decided to side with Mr Deva.

He died today aged 65, having fallen from a ladder in a gardening accident. He is survived by his partner Bruce.

Little Sister’s wrote: “In a freak accident we lost Jim Deva today.

“Our condolences to his partner Bruce and the many, many people whose lives Jim has touched in the 30+ years of the store’s existence.”

Vancouver West MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert said in a Facebook statement: “It hurts my heart to learn a true leader, hero, mentor and friend to so many of us passed away today.

“Jim Deva. It is so hard to process the loss of a man so full of passion, love, and life. A man that inspired so us in the battle for liberty, equality, free speech, and above all love.

“Love you Jim, and thank you for being you, all of you. Rest in peace. You live on in so many.”

Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson added: “He was an amazing guy. He always stood up against injustice wherever that was found. He had a strong sense of what was just and unjust.”

More: activist, Americas, Canada, Canada, Gay, LGBT, Toronto, Vancouver

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