Legal Advocacy at Egale

Legal Advocacy at Egale Canada

Egale’s History of Legal Advocacy

Egale Canada was founded in 1986 to promote the legal equality of 2SLGBTQI people in Canada. Legal advocacy was the first pillar of our work.

Egale was involved in the major court challenges that ultimately established the right to marry for same-sex couples in Canada, including Canada v. Mossop, Layland v. Ontario, M. v. H., Halpern v. Canada, and the Supreme Court of Canada’s Reference re Same-Sex Marriage. During the same period, we worked on cases of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment (Vriend v. Alberta), education (Trinity Western University v. British Columbia College of Teachers), and in the enforcement of obscenity laws (Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium v. Canada).

We continue to pursue legal advocacy through litigation and advancing legal reform and policy development that promotes a Canada, and ultimately a world, without homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and all other forms of oppression so that every person can achieve their full potential, free from hatred and bias.

Our Areas of Legal Work

Anti-2SLGBTQI Hate

In recent years, there has been a marked increase in hate against 2SLGBTQI communities and individuals in Canada and around the world. We’ve seen it online, in official statistics on police-reported hate crime, and in the backlash against 2SLGBTQI public community events and symbols of inclusion.

Alongside our research and public education work, Egale has intervened in several cases to protect 2SLGBTQI people’s rights and reputations in these times of rising hatred.


  • Rainbow Alliance Dryden et al. v. Webster
  • Peterson v. College of Psychologists of Ontario
  • Hansman v. Neufeld

Intersex Genital Mutilation

In Canada, it is currently legal to perform genital “normalizing” surgery on intersex infants and children, who are too young to understand or consent. Such surgeries are invasive, unnecessary, and irreversible and a profound violation of the bodily autonomy and dignity of intersex individuals.

In 2021, Egale and intersex scholars and activists Morgan Holmes and Janik Bastien-Charlebois filed an application with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to challenge the constitutionality of exemptions in the Criminal Code that make intersex genital mutilation legal.

To learn more about intersex in the Canadian context, please see Egale’s research and educational resources.


  • Egale et al. v. Canada

Protection of Gender Diverse Youth

All young people deserve to attend school in safe and affirming environments. The politicization of gender diverse youth jeopardizes their safety and their ability to participate fully in their communities, including at school. One of Egale’s key pillars of work is the promotion of safe and inclusive school environments for 2SLGBTQI students through the development of resources and educational materials. This work can’t be effective when laws and policies prevent school staff from respecting gender diverse students’ rights to equality, safety, privacy, and self-determination.


  • CCLA v. New Brunswick
  • UR Pride v. Government of Saskatchewan et al.
  • York Region District School Board v. Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario
  • A.B. v. C.D.

Recognition of Diverse Families

All families deserve equal recognition before the law. The recognition of parenthood has far-ranging consequences for parents and children and ensures that they are able to participate fully in society. Currently, many Canadian provinces only recognize a maximum of two parents for a child. Many families, however, include more than two parents, who might have any combination of genders, sexual orientations, and relationships with one another. Egale has joined the effort to fight for the recognition of diverse families in the law.


  • Centre de lutte contre l’oppression de genres v. Québec
  • Coalition des familles LGBT+ v. Québec and V.M. et al. v. Québec

Support of Legal Advocacy Work

Your donation will go towards our litigation and advocacy efforts, which include initiating and supporting litigation to combat discriminatory government policies and legislation, and making that work accessible to the public. Our aim is to help create a world, without homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and all other forms of oppression so that every person can achieve their full potential, free from hatred and bias.