Be welcome

While Canada's history isn't perfect, many of the current laws and protections specific to the LGBT community are notably progressive and inclusive.  Canada has come a long way since 1965 when its courts sentenced a Northwest Territories mechanic to life in prison for being homosexual.  Although homosexuality was decriminalized in Canada in 1969, that mechanic wasn't released from prison until 1971.

In 1996, Canada added sexual orientation to the Canada Human Rights Act which extended legal protection to individuals regardless of their sexual orientation.  Eight provinces and territories (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and the Northwest Territories) have modified their provincial human rights codes to add gender identity.

Canada's largest cities are exceedingly welcoming to the LGBTQ traveler: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa, especially in the more recognizably queer neighborhoods and during Pride.

In July 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world, after the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain, to nationally recognize same-sex marriages. Bill C-38, the Civil Marriage Act, extended the right of marriage to same-sex couples and granted the same benefits to same-sex couples as those granted to married heterosexual couples under Canada's business corporation and cooperatives laws, and in regard to veterans' benefits, divorce, and income taxes.