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By Michael Monopoli

It is officially Pride Month in Canada, and while it may seem like a month-long celebration to most, it is important to also recognize the struggle, protests, and riots, that have paved the path for today’s Pride parades and celebrations of LGBTQ2S+ rights. With homosexuality being decriminalized in Canada one day before the Stonewall Riots (1969) took place in the United States, we would think that Canadians were a little more accepting of their LGBTQ2S+ peers. The Brunswick Four (1974), Operation Soap (1981), and The Sex Garage Raids (1990), all prove that this wasn’t the case. Although it is no longer illegal to be a member of the LGBTQS2+ community in Canada, many community members continue to face discrimination and sometimes even violence.

Knowing that Canadians are truly unique in their experiences and ideologies, we decided to conduct a survey of the general population regarding their perceptions of LBGTQ2S+ rights, respect, and acceptance in the nation. We found that 9% of Canadians identify as a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community. Those 18-29 were among the most likely to identify as LGBTQ2S+ (21%).

 

1 IN2 BELIEVE THAT LGBTQ2S+ INDIVIDUALS HAVE ALL THE SAME RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS AS EVERY OTHER CANADIAN.

Among the LGBTQ2S+ community, 48% agree that they have all the same rights and freedoms as every other Canadian. This is echoed by 52% of the non-LGBTQ2S+ community.

  • Agreement with this statement is slightly lower among women (50%).
  • Individuals aged 18-29 are significantly more likely to agree that LGBTQ2S+ individuals have some of the same rights and freedoms as every other Canadian than any other age group (24%).

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When asked whether they felt Canada was headed in the right or wrong direction regarding LGBTQ2S+ rights, 60% of the LGBTQ2S+ community feel that Canada is headed in the right direction, with 49% of the non-LGBTQ2S+ sample agreeing. Interestingly, only 15% of those not in the LGBTQ2S+ community felt that the country was headed in the wrong direction, with 36% indicating that they were unsure.

 

LGBTQ2S+ RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS ARE NOT BEING FULLY HONOURED AND RESPECTED IN CANADA.

While 90% of the LGBTQ2S+ population surveyed agrees that LGBTQ2S+ rights are at least somewhat respected and honoured by Canadians, only 22% feel that these rights are fully respected and honoured. This is also the case for 89% and 18% of the non-LGBTQ2S+ community respectively.

  • Those who are 60+ years old are significantly less likely to agree that LGBTQ2S+ rights are fully respected and honoured by Canadians (11%).
  • Those living in Saskatchewan/Manitoba are more likely than any other region to say that LGBTQ2S+ rights are somewhat respected and honoured (45%).

 

OPINIONS ARE SPLIT REGARDING LGBTQ2S+ ACCEPTANCE IN CANADA.

53% of non-LGBTQ2S+ Canadians feel that LGBTQ2S+ individuals are accepted in Canada, while 42% indicated that LGBTQ2S+ individuals face challenges to their acceptance. Among the LGBTQ2S+ community, a virtually identical number (53%) indicated that they feel that LGBTQ2S+ individuals are accepted, while 44% felt that they faced challenges to their acceptance.

Those 60 years of age or older were significantly more likely than any other group to agree that LGBTQ2S+ individuals face challenges to their acceptance in Canada (51%). The results remain consistent among genders and regions.

When asked whether LGBTQ2S+ acceptance was headed in the right or wrong direction in Canada, the majority of both LGBTQ2S+ individuals (66%) and non-LGBTQ2S+ individuals (56%) agree that the nation is headed in the right direction. Interestingly, a similar number of LGBTQ2S+ (10%) and non-LGBTQ2S+ (11%) individuals agree that the nation is headed in the wrong direction regarding the acceptance of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Later in the survey, we asked LGBTQ2S+ respondents if they had ever faced discrimination as a direct result of their gender, sexual identity, sexual attraction, or sexual orientation:

 

1 IN 2 MEMBERS OF THE LGBTQ2S+ COMMUNITY HAVE FACED DISCRIMINATION AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THEIR GENDER, SEXUAL IDENTITY, SEXUAL ATTRACTION, OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION.

49% of those in the LGBTQ2S+ community have faced discrimination as a direct result of their gender, sexual identity, sexual attraction, or sexual orientation. Furthermore, 11% of the LGBTQ2S+ population surveyed felt unsure if this was the case in their specific experiences. Those living in Saskatchewan/Manitoba are significantly more likely to have faced discrimination than those living in any other region in Canada (92%).

 

THE UPSHOT

According to Michael Monopoli: Although Canada has made tremendous progress regarding the rights, acceptance and respect of the LGBTQ2S+ community, there is still room for improvement. Among the LGBTQ2S+ community, over half declared that they do not have all of the same rights and freedoms as as every other Canadian. And even if they had the same rights and freedoms, there are still barriers present to their acceptance and respect as an individual. Having rights and freedoms on paper means very little when they aren’t fully respected and honoured by every Canadian. I think Pride Month is not only a celebration of the LGBTQ2S+ community and their past struggles and successes, but also a reminder and commitment to strive for a more equitable, inclusive and equal future for every Canadian.

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METHODOLOGY

The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadians from June 11 to 17, 2021. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20. The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

This poll was conducted and paid for by Abacus Data.

 

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