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Almost anywhere in North America gay rights issues are on the political agendas This has been an ongoing issue for the past ten years However significantresults have hardly been seen until some five years ago Still today manyhomosexual individuals have to fight hard on a daily basis to be treated equally asnon-married heterosexual couples in order to gain such privilege as the rightIn 1995 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that sexual orientation isprotected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms andconsequently the Human Rights Commission announced that it would begin toaccept complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation By then allProvinces except Alberta Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland had alreadyoutlawed discrimination against homosexuals in their own provincial human rightscodes Furthermore a new tendency in court ruling across the country -- as wellas in private corporations -- started quietly handing homosexual men and womensame-sex employee benefits bereavement leave and rights to adoptionsUnfortunately it is not so everywhere in Canada In 1991 Delwin Vrienda laboratory instructor at Edmontons Kings College was dismissed afteraffirming that he was gay Vriend went to court claiming that it was unacceptableto fire openly gay workers in Alberta However at the end of the trial inFebruary 1996 the judge explicitly stated otherwise when he said that Socialpolicy is a matter for elected legislator to decide not the courts and that thelegislature had not included sexual orientation as a prohibited ground ofdiscrimination Dwyer 1996 p24 in Albertas human rights codeIn the mean time the gay community of Canada wants more than therecognition of the rights of gay individuals but also that of their partnership In1996s Ontario ruling for example the court ordered a fundamental redefinitionof the word spouse in the provinces Child and Family Services Act to includepartners of the same sex Adversely this kind of decision makes some peoplefear that such new laws could easily lead to subsequent pressure to allow gaymarriage Reform MP of the time Ian McClelland said that
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