Canada’s New Immigrants Guide Leaves Out Gays

November 20th, 2009

Ghosts are an important part of Canadian society

The Government of Canada has released a new guide directed toward new immigrants to help them adjust to Canadian culture. Not a bad idea, actually!

Still, while the guide has entire sections devoted to gender equality and diversity, the GLBT community was somehow left out of both. In fact, the only mention of gays anywhere occurs in a section about sports, arts, and culture; tucked away in the sidebar is a photo of Mark Tewksbury, accompanied by the caption: “Mark Tewksbury, Olympic gold medalist and prominent activist for gay and lesbian Canadians.”

Surprising, given Canada’s advancements in equal rights and the exhaustive coverage of gender and diversity issues, you think there’d at least be a mention of same-sex marriage or other details of interest to gay immigrants.

Then again, Canada has an abysmal record of accommodating GLBT refugees, many of whom simply want asylum from unjust laws in their home countries. If the government doesn’t feel the responsibility to welcome those who need to immigrate the most, then why have the courtesy to acknowledge those who are coming under standard immigration circumstances?