Out/Law Immigration Legal Services

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In 1984 Ken Smith and Rob Hughes opened a Vancouver law office focused on sexual orientation and gender identity issues - Smith & Hughes. They fought for LGBTQ equality and human rights in legal cases such as:

  • The challenge of the exclusion of gays and lesbians in the military
  • The first Canadian HIV discrimination case
  • Same-sex survivor’s pensions under the Canada Pension Plan
  • Recognition of same-sex relationships in the Family Class for sponsorship for immigration
  • Equal marriage in the BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Ken retired in 2011.

Robert J Hughes, B.A, LLB

Rob Hughes practices as Out/Law Immigration Legal Services. Immigration and refugee law has been his preferred area of practice since the early 1990s. Rob represent LGBTQ and seropositive refugee claimants as well as applicants in same-sex relationships immigrating to Canada or applying for visitor, work and study permits. 

In 2000 Rob co-founded the Rainbow Refugee Committee, a support group for queer refugee claimants in Vancouver. He sat on its Board of Directors for many years and currently serves as an advisor.

Rob served on the national executive of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference of the Canadian Bar Association, sat for 10 years on the Board of Directors for the AIDS Memorial Society of Vancouver and two years on the Executive Committee of the Immigration Section of the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association.

Rob is currently a Board Member and on the Executive Committee of Canadian Friends Service Committee and clerk (chair) the Quaker Indigenous Rights Committee.