Many laws have changed since the 1960s, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been interpreted so that people cannot face discrimination because of sexual orientation. Activist groups have worked with vigorous dedication and tireless energy over the last 50 years to gain same-sex marriage rights. Yet, Canada still has a long way to go before the LGBT community lives without prejudice and discrimination.
One of the greatest obstacles to acceptance of same-sex couples, and LGBT people in general, lie in the often contradictory objectives of religious freedom and equality for people of sexual orientation that differs from heterosexuality. Freedom of religion is a fundamental right in Canada. In part, this means that the state cannot impose practices that would violate their religious freedoms. For same-sex couples who wish to be married in a certain churches, there is no recourse when they are excluded from a particular church community because of their sexual orientation.
Canada is also influenced by a global community, and as such, outside influences affect our views and ideals. The United States in particular, where the same-sex marriage debate continues, greatly influences our culture. The images and messages presented in the mass media help keep the controversy alive and negative attitudes and discriminatory actions by individuals at the surface. This serves to fuel the heterosexual privilege so long rooted in Canadian society, which feeds much of the hatred and bullying experienced by the LBGT youth of our nation.