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est. 2005
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Raymond Gravel


Deconstructing Raymond Gravel, who died of lung cancer on August 11th, proved him to be someone with deeply held convictions, several of which were not without controversy. A priest by profession, he was a progressive force in the Catholic church. A supporter of gay rights, women's rights, abortion rights, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage, Gravel believed the church needed to evolve. He'd preached those values for more than two decades before entering the political arena. In June 2006, he won election to the Canadian Parliament as a member of the separatist Bloc Quebecois, a left-leaning, Quebec-centric party that had formed on the premise of having the province become its own nation. However, he'd serve only two years in office. After being ordered by the Vatican to choose between the priesthood and the political realm, he chose the former, resigning his seat. Despite his choice, he wouldn't be silenced. He opposed a secular charter proposed by the Parti Quebecois, at the time the governing party in Quebec. The intent was to ban provincial public workers from wearing any religious symbols on the job. The issue would prove the downfall of the government in an April 2014 election. By this time, Gravel knew his life was winding down. Diagnosed with lung cancer in October 2013 and given six months to live, he managed to hang on a little longer than that. Gravel spent his last few weeks at a palliative care facility before passing away.

Allen Kirshner scores a solo with the pick. He gets 11 points for the hit and a 5-point bonus, 16 points total.

--Allen Kirshner

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