Sample Sociology Essays on Sociology of Diversity

History of Gay Rights in Canada

In early1960, small homophile groups were formed across Canada to fight for the recognition of gay rights. However, gay rights were recognized, and significant changes were made in 1969 when the Canadian government decriminalized homosexual acts between two consenting adults. The government asserted that there was a need to recognize every individual’s right to privacy, thereby it could not engage in other people’s bedroom affairs. Before the government had decriminalized the act of homosexuality across the country, many gays had been arrested and held at confinement places, where they were subjected to torture across various regions such as Quebec. Despite the decriminalization, gays were still subjected to various forms of human injustice and prejudice. For instance, the police constantly raided gay bars, and this extended even to the early 1990s.

The homophile groups fought for the recognition of gay rights to end discrimination against those who chose a homosexual lifestyle, end state regulation related to homosexuality, ensure the implementation of anti-discriminatory measures particularly to employment, and ensure that homosexual behavior was legalized. In 1977, Quebec adopted the Charter of Human Rights Freedom and became the first state to ban discrimination based on an individual’s sexual behavior. Subjecting gays to any forms of discrimination became illegal across Canada when the other provinces also adopted the Charter of Human Rights Freedom. Despite this, gays were still subjected to various forms of discrimination; for instance, they were not allowed to engage in marriage (Simpson, 2018). Society believed that the purpose of marriage was procreation and that same-sex marriage certainly would not lead to that; thereby, the concept of homosexuality was still not accepted across Canada. However, the Supreme Court, in 1999, extended the definition of marriage to include same-sex marriage after the consistent fights that the homophile groups had engaged in to ensure the homosexual behavior was legalized. However, many members of society did not immediately accept that definition as they recognized marriage as heterosexual.

The gay couples were given the same tax and social benefits as heterosexuals in 2002 when the C-23 bill was passed. In 2002, the homophile groups achieved the success of their struggle when a court ruled in their favor stating that the government needed to recognize gay rights under the law. Besides, a few jurisdictions had not accepted the idea of same-sex marriage by the beginning of 2005, including Northwest Territories, Prince Edward, Nunavut, Alberta, and New Brunswick (Pierceson, 2005). Since then, the laws regarding same-sex marriage within Canada have advanced, and today homosexuals are even allowed to get a divorce. Right now, the country is looking into some ways that can allow homosexuals to engage in marriage and get a divorce without being discriminated against.

The idea of the early recognition of individual rights by the government was to ensure that every Canadian citizen would get the freedom to pursue his or her goals without interference. Individual rights are the rights that people hold that protect them from being discriminated against or abused (Jones, 2017). These rights tend to focus on the status of an individual and freedom, among other benefits. They also allow people to realize and appreciate who they are. Therefore, individual rights for gays in Canada are essential because they have realized their sexual behaviors and the rights ought to protect them from any forms of discrimination.

The society ought to recognize and respect the individual rights of those who have identified themselves as homosexuals. Therefore, they need to be treated fairly and with respect. Besides, the government and other entities should not interfere with the actions of homosexuals; rather, they should allow the gay to choose what actions best suit them. The early recognition of gay rights by the Canadian government gave homosexuals a chance to realize that no one had the power to interfere with their sexual actions or behavior; thereby, they continued to fight for their rights. They came to realize the success of their fights after several years.

People have continued to find different ways over time to define their sexual behaviors and express their sexuality. In today’s society, various terms, such as transsexual, bisexual, and asexual, have emerged, and now the question is not whether an individual is a heterosexual or homosexual. Many people who associate themselves with homosexual behavior can now express their sexuality in Canada because of the struggle that the homophile groups engaged in to fight for gay rights. Considering this, the individual rights of such persons have experienced significant improvements. However, this resulted in a problem as Canadian society now fails to understand the sexual orientation of various people and where they appropriately fit. Besides, traditional values and religion have been the driving forces to concerns surrounding same-sex marriages in society. However, the question concerning same-sex marriage is whether or not today and future societies will take the same approach towards this particular issue as people continue to discover and formulate more sexual orientations.

 

References

Jones, P. (2017). Group rights and group oppression. In Theories of Rights (pp. 343-367). Routledge. Retrieved from https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781315236308/chapters/10.4324/9781315236308-17

Pierceson, J. (2005). Courts, liberalism, and rights: Gay law and politics in the United States and Canada. Temple University Press.

Simpson, L. (2018). Violent victimization of lesbians, gays and bisexuals in Canada, 2014. Juristat: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, 1-13. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/openview/bc5a7d7a528227a3c1d4bf82df22d81f/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=44168

 

 

 

 

 

Religious Discrimination and Oppression of the Aboriginal Population

In Canada, the aboriginals have constantly been subjected to oppression by the larger society. The government defined some of their practices as backward and uncivilized, thereby it banned some of the population’s religious and traditional practices. By banning the aboriginal population’s beliefs and practices, the government showed that it did not value the importance of their culture across the country (Hankivsky & Cormier, 2011). The aboriginal population’s beliefs and practices were also not supported by the missionaries, who argued that their practices were pagan rituals. This particular population was significantly affected by the ban the government placed on their religious beliefs and practices. The government considered the aboriginal population’s beliefs as misdemeanors and stated that it would imprison for not less than two months or put in confinement places for not less than six months, people who would be found engaging in such practices. Besides, the government stated that it would punish by law those who were sympathetic to the aboriginal cause. The government stated that it would also punish by law the people who encouraged or assisted the aboriginal people to engage in the practices as well as the celebrations.

The aboriginal people continued to resist the ban despite the government stating that it would punish those who engage in such practices. Whenever the government officials and the missionaries were not around, the aboriginal people would perform their practices. When performing their practice in secret, some continued to resist the ban and petition to the government at the same time. The aboriginal people petitioned to the government through various means, including using the newspapers (Angelini, 2011). The aboriginal people were not strong enough, and despite their efforts to petition, the government decided to ban more of their practices, including traditional dances. In the 1950s, the ban on the aboriginal population’s traditional dances was repealed.

The aboriginal people were self-governing before the Europeans arrived in Canada, and each of the tribes embraced their traditions, attitudes, and beliefs. A decline of these traditions amongst the population was due to the subsequent arrival of missionaries as well as changes in the governing systems. Therefore, the aboriginal people were forced to abandon their traditional practices and adopt new European practices (Cairns, 2011). Because of this, children could no longer sit down and learn from their parents about the history of and teachings from the previous generations. The aboriginal population adopted new political, governing and education systems, and new culture and religious practices as well that the Europeans brought along into Canada (MacDonald & Steenbeek, 2015). Before the arrival of the Europeans, aboriginals learned orally from their parents, and they used their native language. However, after the coming of the Europeans, aboriginal children were forced to speak the foreign language at schools, and this led to the decline of the culture of the aboriginal people.

Canada was also negatively affected by the religious discrimination and oppression of the aboriginal people. The problems that the aboriginal population experienced in the past have been passed from generation to generation. The aboriginal people have remained to be the country’s poorest population, and they have increasingly been frustrated by the loss of their traditional lifestyles. Besides, the aboriginal people are unable to deal with modern challenges, such as high rates of unemployment. The population has rather decided to depend on social assistance from non-profit organizations and the government. These facts have, in turn, led to violence across Canada.

The aboriginal population associated its culture and identity to religion. However, the population lost a significant part of its culture and identity when the government banned its religion. Besides, the newcomers to the country have failed to recognize the aboriginal population’s beliefs and practices, and this shows the extent to which their culture has declined. This is because the Europeans adopted the ethnocentric approach that required all individuals to adopt some new religion and abandon the traditional ones. The aboriginal populations have continued to be discriminated against across Canada even in this modern time.

Other forms of oppression and discrimination emerged when the aboriginal people were constantly subjected to religious discrimination. The aboriginal people have continued to fight for their rights, but they have not achieved success because they are not influential. It is imperative to value and respect other people’s religions, and we should not discriminate them based on their practices and beliefs because that is what defines them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Angelini, P. U. (Ed.). (2011). Our society: Human diversity in Canada. Cengage Learning.

Cairns, A. (2011). Citizens plus: Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian state. UBC Press.

Hankivsky, O., & Cormier, R. (2011). Intersectionality and public policy: Some lessons from existing models. Political Research Quarterly, 64(1), 217-229. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1065912910376385

MacDonald, C., & Steenbeek, A. (2015). The impact of colonization and western assimilation on health and wellbeing of Canadian Aboriginal people. International Journal of Regional and Local History, 10(1), 32-46. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/2051453015Z.00000000023