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Canadian Citizenship Guide Mentions Gay Rights

Canadian Citizenship Guide Mentions Gay Rights


The latest version of a Canadian citizenship study guide includes a single sentence about gay rights in what appears to have been an official effort to keep the history short.

CTV News reports that the revised version of Discover Canada released Monday follows the first version of the booklet released in 2009. That version contained only a passing reference to gay people, namely, with a photo and caption of Olympic gold medalist Mark Tewksbury. A draft indicated that more extensive information including milestones in gay rights had been planned, but the office of immigration minister Jason Kenney ordered the deletion of the material.

On Monday, Kenney, who was an opponent of marriage equality in the opposition party, unveiled the next version.

"The latest version acknowledges gay rights in Canada, but still doesn't outline how those relatively recent rights came about," reports CTV News. "It simply says: 'Canada's diversity includes gay and lesbian Canadians, who enjoy the full protection of and equal treatment under the law, including access to civil marriage.'"

Kenney said the guide should be praised for having any mention of gay rights, given that the guide published under the Liberal government did not include anything on the subject.

Egale Canada, a national LGBT advocacy group, welcomed the addition to the guide, but called for transgender rights to be included. A bill that would add transgender protections to the national human rights law has passed the house of commons but faces resistance in the Conservative-dominated senate.

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