Lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LBTI) rights in Canada are some of the most advanced in the world. In July 2005, Canada became one of the first four countries to legalize same-sex marriage. Canadian law also provides for legal adoption for same-sex couples.
Intersex people in Canada have no recognition of their rights to physical integrity and bodily autonomy, and no specific protections from discrimination on the basis of sex characteristics.
Transgender rights in Canada, including procedures for changing legal gender and protections from discrimination, vary between provinces & therefore, trans people do not have full legal recognition.
In 2011, Canada was part of a joint statement delivered to the United Nations Human Rights Council, on behalf of 85 countries, for “ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity”.
The last State party report was submitted in 2015 and contained LBTI-specific information, especially on civil unions. It stated that in all Canadian provinces the division of family property legislation applies automatically to married couples. In Quebec, the legislation also applies to unmarried couples who have concluded a civil union contract. Two other provinces (Nova Scotia and Manitoba) also provide for a registration system of couples who are in a conjugal relationship but are not married, which then grants them similar rights and responsibilities to married couples. These registration systems have had a relatively low take-up rate, especially since same-sex couples have become eligible to marry.
Canada received a SOGIESC-focused recommendation from the CEDAW Committee at the 65th Session. The Committee asked the State party to develop a comprehensive national gender strategy, policy, and action plan to address the structural factors that continue to cause inequalities with respect to LBTI people, amongst a range of constituencies.
Secondly, the Committee asked Canada to strengthen the implementation of gender equality policies at the provincial and territorial levels, to ensure that all government bodies involved receive sustained guidance and support in their implementation efforts, including sufficient human, technical and financial resources.