What are my rights as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning (LGBTQ+) person in Canada?

Discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity is against the law in Canada.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms assures that all people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning (LGBTQ+) persons, are equal before and under law.

If you are LGBTQ+, you have the right to:

  • Same-sex marriage;
  • Adoption;
  • Serve in the military; and
  • Equal access to government benefits.

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, it is against the law for LGBTQ+ persons to be harassed or discriminated against in:

  • Employment;
  • Services and facilities;
  • Accommodation and housing;
  • Contracts; and
  • Membership in unions, trade or professional associations.

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) covers some gender confirming (sex-reassignment) surgeries. Find out more in What services does OHIP cover?

For More Information

  • Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) - This body provides leadership for the promotion, protection and advancement of human rights, and builds partnerships across the human rights system.
  • EGALE - EGALE is a Canadian LGBTQ+ human rights organization that advances equality, diversity, education and justice.
  • The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) - This body investigates complaints of discrimination and harassment based on the Ontario Human Rights Code.
  • Human Rights Complaint Guides - Easy-to-read guides about how to file a claim, how a claim is processed, how to respond if a complaint is filed against you. From The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
  • Human Rights Legal Support Centre - If you believe you have been discriminated against, you can contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre for free legal advice and support.
  • Positive Spaces Initiative - Developed by OCASI, positive spaces are welcoming environments where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer and/or Questioning (LGBTQ+) newcomers are able to access services free from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
Last updated: October 28, 2015 4001545