Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral aspects of the sense of self. The LGTBQ2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer and Two Spirited folk) community continues to fight against human rights abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity. These include stigmatization, censorship, discrimination in health care, jobs and housing, domestic violence, bullying against children/youth, and the denial of family rights and recognition.
On July 20, 2005, Canada became the first country outside Europe and the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. Although Canada can be quite progressive in regards to gender and orientation, there are still many times where blatant discrimination has occurred.
We believe that being denied basic services and/or provisions based on sexual orientation is an infringement to a person’s dignity.
Know Your Rights Guide
CCLA has published a Know Your Rights Guide to educate students about LGBTQ2S+ rights in schools. This resource helps students, allies, and teachers better understand rights under the Charter, human rights laws, and Ontario’s Education Act, and how to take positive action toward making schools more safe and inclusive.
CCLA works directly with the LGBTQ2S+ community advocating for their rights and freedoms.
The Saskatchewan Court was victorious in advocating for equality when refusing changes to Saskatchewan’s Marriage Act. The proposed changes would have allowed provincially appointed marriage commissioners to refuse to perform civil marriages where it would conflict with their religious beliefs. The changes were proposed in response to objections by some commissioners to same-sex marriage, which became legal in Canada in 2005. The proposed changes were also broad enough to allow commissioners to refuse to perform marriages on other grounds, including objections to inter-faith and inter-racial unions.
CCLA intervened in this case to argue it is unconstitutional to allow discrimination in some instances based on sexual orientation. We argued the discrimination would risk creating a system of unequal access to basic government services. While we have always been, and remain, an advocate of freedom of religion, the core function of marriage commissioners is to preside over civil marriages, not religious ceremonies.
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