July 13, 2023

Not every legal development or decision with relevance for 2SLBGTQI people in Canada makes the front page. To make it easier for community members and advocates to keep up with legal news in Canada and around the world, Egale publishes a monthly roundup of case law and news items related to 2SLGBTQI people and issues.

During the month of June, Pride events across Canada drew record numbers of supporters in the face of rising hate against our communities – but not without backlash, as symbols of Pride were vandalized across the country. Meanwhile, all eyes are on New Brunswick as the government pushes through changes that weaken gender diverse students’ inclusion in schools. Internationally, Nepal becomes the first country in South Asia to legalize same-sex marriage and France unveils a plan to counter hatred and violence against LGBTQI people.

Canadian News 

Thousands of people come together as communities across Canada celebrate Pride 

Incidents of hate target Pride flags, rainbow crosswalks 

  • During June, many homes and public institutions fly Pride flags or display rainbow-coloured symbols in other ways, including municipal crosswalks. 
  • Across Canada, these symbols of inclusion and diversity have been vandalized. Incidents include, among many others:
    • Pride flags vandalized at a church in Delta, B.C. 
    • Pride banners hanging from light posts vandalized in Fergus, ON 
    • Pride flag stolen from a hospital in Windsor, ON 
    • Two rainbow crosswalks vandalized in Central Saanich, B.C. 
  • Media reports on many of these incidents say that these thefts and acts of vandalism are being investigated as hate-motivated crimes.

Stabbings at University of Waterloo being investigated as hate-motivated crime 

  • On June 28, a recent graduate of the University of Waterloo, ON entered a gender studies class, confirmed the subject of the class, and subsequently stabbed the professor and two students.
  • The attacks are being investigated as a crime motivated by hatred on the grounds of gender identity and expression, according to CBC

Homophobic and transphobic letters sent to Owen Sound homes displaying Pride flags 

  • Police are investigating the origins of written attacks on 2SLGBTQI people that were mailed to Owen Sound, ON residents who displayed Pride flags on their homes. 

Anti-2SLGBTQI protestors disrupt Louis Riel School District, MB meeting after a trustee was suspended for homophobic and transphobic social media posts 

  • The trustee had been suspended for three months without pay for sharing homophobic and transphobic conspiracy theories on her Facebook page.
  • Police were called to the school board meeting after over two dozen protestors became disruptive and abusive, refusing to leave when asked.
  • Another trustee, who had come out as bisexual following the homophobic and transphobic comments made by his colleague, was targeted with homophobic slurs at the meeting, according to the Winnipeg Free Press

New Brunswick Child and Youth Advocate to review and report on 2SLGBTQI inclusion policy 

  • The Minister of Education in New Brunswick unveiled three changes to Policy 713, which sets minimum standards for inclusion of 2SLGBTQI students in public schools in the province, in early June.
  • The Minister of Education as well as the Premier have tied the policy to transphobic and homophobic moral panics.
  • Now, the New Brunswick Child and Youth Advocate is holding a public consultation on the changes, with the results to be reported to the Legislative Assembly. 

International News 

United States 

US Supreme Court deals blow to anti-discrimination laws in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis 

  • The plaintiff in the case claims that she wants to begin selling wedding websites, but was worried that anti-discrimination laws would force her to create wedding websites for same-sex couples. She believes that marriage must be between one man and one woman.
  • In a 6-3 decision along party lines, the court agreed that if the plaintiff was forced to create websites for same-sex couples who commissioned her services, that would amount to compelled speech. 
  • In her dissent, Justice Sotomayor points out that laws that prohibit discrimination in the sale of goods and services – including on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression – are key to the guarantee of equal rights.  


Nepal becomes the first country in South Asia to legalize marriage between non-heterosexual couples in interim Supreme Court ruling 

  • There are three legal genders in Nepal. Until now, only men and women have been allowed to marry one another.
  • Now, the Supreme Court of Nepal has ordered the legislature to develop a framework for marriage equality for same-sex couples and couples including at least one person with a legal “third gender”, according to Radio France Internationale.
  • Until that time, these marriages will be registered as “temporary”. 


France’s equality minister unveils plan to combat anti-LGBTQI hatred 

  • The plan includes funding for LGBTQI centres and organizations, training for police and security officers as well as other government employees on LGBTQI issues, and school registration forms that are inclusive for families with diverse compositions, according to Radio France Internationale.  


European Court of Human Rights rules that Caster Semenya was discriminated against by World Athletics regulations 

  • Because the Court of Arbitration for Sport sits in Lausanne, Switzerland, its decisions are appealed to the Swiss courts and then ultimately to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). 
  • Caster Semenya is an Olympic champion track and field runner. She is a cis woman with differences in sexual development (DSD) that the authority for elite track and field, World Athletics, says make her “biologically male” – an intersexist and misogynistic claim.
  • World Athletics imposed regulations on women athletes in 2019 that force them to keep their natural testosterone levels under a specified level in order to be allowed to compete. This can be done through hormonal or surgical interventions, both of which can carry serious side effects.
  • The ECHR’s opinion does not have an immediate effect on the regulations, which World Athletics has said will remain in place.  


Japan passes law to “promote understanding” of LGBT people 

  • According to Human Rights Watch, the law isn’t itself a piece of anti-discrimination legislation. Instead, it orders the government to create a plan on how to promote understanding of LGBT people and protect them from “unfair discrimination.”
  • Critics say that the wording of “unfair discrimination” implies that some discrimination should be tolerated. 

South Africa 

Constitutional Court of South Africa confirms parental rights of same-sex couples in cases of assisted reproduction

  • The applicants in the case were a lesbian couple who had had children via in vitro fertilization (IVF).  
  • The law in South Africa guarantees the “husband” or the “spouse” of the person who gives birth to a child conceived through IVF the same parental rights and responsibilities as for children conceived without assistive reproductive technologies, according to Bertus Preller.  
  • The applicants successfully argued that those rights should apply equally to the other intended parent, regardless of gender or marital status.
  • Same-sex marriage is legal in South Africa.