Tuesday, 15 March 2011 17:32

Citizenship Canadian Guide Mentions Gay Rights

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The citizenship study guide received by the new Canadians finally mentions gay and lesbian rights.

In this version, the second one of the guide, you can read that the "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." As you can see, there is not a lot of details.

"If you actually look at the previous guide, the one that was published under the Liberal government, there was not a single word or sentence or paragraph at all about gay or lesbian rights," said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

CTV adds that "the revised edition also adds forced marriage to a list of gender-based crimes that aren't tolerated in Canada, which already included spousal abuse, honour killings and female genital mutilation.

Another passage now says immigrants who come from war-torn nations should not bring their "violent, extreme or hateful prejudices" with them to this country.

Egale Canada, a national gay and lesbian advocacy group, welcome the change but asks transsexual rectifies to be also added to the guide:"Egale Canada is pleased that the new guide accurately reflects the current climate in Canada,"it said."Nonetheless, its obvious omission of our trans population highlights the urgent need to pass Bill C-389 before the next election, in order to ensure the rightful inclusion of trans people within Canada's human rights regime."Cvs also reports that Olivia Chow, of the NDP, said the changes to the guide were overdue, criticizing the Conservative government for failing to address gay rights in the first place. Chow suggested Kenney's office only reversed course because of pressure from Parliament."It's better than not having anything -- at least the words 'rights' and 'marriage' are in there," Chow said in an interview. "They removed it (from the first version), they deliberately removed it."