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Gay rights in Canada and the US

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  1. Introduction.
  2. What is included in gay rights.
  3. homosexuality and the United States: A taboo subject.
  4. Canada and the United States.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

From an external point of view, Canada and the United States are sometimes considered as pretty similar countries, concerning cultures and policies. However, these two countries can have very different behaviours on some issues. This is the case in the domain of gay and lesbian rights, and notably same-sex marriage. In spite of the proximity between both states, they do not have the same approach at all. Canada seems to be much more tolerant and ready to grant rights to the homosexual community, contrary to the United States which is more reluctant on the subject. Even if there has been progress in each country _ for example, homosexuality has been decriminalized _ a significant gap remains between Canadian and American gay rights policies. So what are the main differences and why do they exist?

[...] As a matter of fact, Jason Pierceson argues that Canada and the United States have different political cultures and it would be the reason for the different gay rights policies: past half decade has seen remarkable developments in Canada concerning gay right claims [ ] The differences stem primarily from the combination of a richer liberalism in Canadian political culture and a judiciary emboldened by a relatively recent constitutional change that elevated its right consciousness?[11]. Indeed, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms only dates from 1982; it gave a new power to the courts so they have really used it because they know how important it is. [...]

[...] And Canada is now studying the question of parental rights for same-sex couples. There is an equal recognition of homosexual and heterosexual relationships, as we can see with the M v. H decision of the Supreme Court of Canada: exclusion of same-sex partners from the benefits of Section 29 promotes the view that individuals in same-sex relationships are less worthy of recognition and protection. Such exclusion perpetuates the disadvantages suffered by individuals in same-sex relationships and contributes to the erasure of their existence?[3]. [...]

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