Canada’s LGBTQ+ Protections: Why FB comments backfire.

When Canadian conservatives get SUPER aggressive and upset at corporations and businesses showing support for the LGBTQ+ community I can’t help but shake my head. 

Y’all know LGBTQ+ people have protected charter rights? These business are standing with them, on the right side of the law, and saying “we’re a safe place.” 

So when you complain and say “I guess I’m not shopping there anymore” or whatever, you out yourself as an unsafe person to anyone in your life that is LGBTQ+ (out or in the closet) and their family members. You out yourself as someone motivated by fear and hatred. 

Every business in Canada is required by law to treat LGBTQ+ folx with the same respect and dignity as every other Canadian and citizen. They are required by law to create safe space for everyone. This doesn’t mean that everyone agrees, but it DOES mean that every single Canadian has the right to not hearing hate speech or prejudice directed at them for simply existing. 

There are several precedents in Canada for employers dismissing staff due to conduct on Facebook and other social media platforms. It’s not just limited to LGBTQ+ remarks either. Any form of discrimination and hate speech can be grounds for termination of employment and possible criminal charges. Hate speech in Canada is defined as: ” “detestation” and “vilification” aptly describe the harmful effect that the Code seeks to eliminate. Representations that expose a target group to detestation tend to inspire enmity and extreme ill-will against them, which goes beyond mere disdain or dislike. Representations vilifying a person or group will seek to abuse, denigrate or delegitimize them, to render them lawless, dangerous, unworthy or unacceptable in the eyes of the audience. Expression exposing vulnerable groups to detestation and vilification goes far beyond merely discrediting, humiliating or offending the victims.”

So yes, if your remarks call into question the legitimacy of a person or group, by definition of law, those remarks are hate speech and punishable under the criminal code. If your remarks are meant to inspire ill-will and enmity (animosity, garner others to ostracize) then those remarks are also hate speech and punishable under the criminal code.

In an era of smart phones, where anyone can screen shot comments and online interactions to use as evidence in a harassment complaint, what you post on the internet could land you not only in Facebook jail, but the real one as well.

If you’re so petty as to not do business with a company that welcomes and protects LGBTQ+ people, or you actively lash out in the comments of minorities, you might want to leave Canada—because it’s the law here.

This entry was posted in LGBTQ+ on by .

About cherylfolland

Cheryl graduated​ from Vancouver Island University in 2019 with a BA in Creative Writing. She is passionate about the marginalized and an advocate for those who fall between the cracks of religion and society. She loves books, music and good coffee.

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