Same-sex Marriage


In 2005 Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage which resulted from the efforts of many groups, court rulings and changes to Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This section of InequalityGaps outlines the path to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada. Of course inequalities do not begin and end with the changing of the decades: the time line illuminates the changes and reforms taking place. Although equality may exist as far as the state is concerned when it comes to same-sex marriage, discriminatory practices still exist.

  • Because of changes to the Canadian Criminal Code in the late 1960s, homosexuality was no longer a crime, yet discriminatory practices by the state and RCMP fostered a heterosexism whose legacy still affects equality for LGBT individuals today.
  • The 1970s saw the rise of the Gay Liberation Movement which made significant headway in gaining rights for LGBT people. 
  • In the 1980s the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was entrenched in the Canadian Constitution, paving the way for equality for same-sex couples despite the omission of sexual orientation as a prohibited ground for discrimination.  
  • The 1990s challenged many of the assumptions that masked the inequalities experienced by same-sex couples where the terms and definitions used to describe relationships and marriage were questioned.
  • The 2000s began with a flourish of activity and debate surrounding the same-sex marriage issue and culminated in 2005 with Canada extending legal civil unions to same-sex couples.
  • Today, LBGT individuals still struggle to gain equality because of heterosexist attitudes, outside influences, and some religious institutions which create barriers to equality.  



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s