6 Ways Same-Sex Couples are Unfairly Disadvantaged Living and Existing in Canada and the US
In 2019, same-sex couples in Canada and the United States still face a surprising amount of disadvantage and discrimination. These brave couples are not afforded the same luxuries and systematic respect as others and are sadly still fighting for the right to be considered equal. This is a list of six ways same-sex couples are unfairly disadvantaged that aren’t often discussed.
Despite anti-discrimination laws prohibiting it, same-sex couples are oftentimes still discriminated against in their workplaces by managers, supervisors, and others who don’t agree with their background. Sadly, this has caused some individuals belonging to same-sex couples being pushed out of work or being forced to adhere to rules that don’t apply to their heterosexual colleagues.
In the US, same-sex couples are 73 percent more likely to be denied a mortgage than heterosexual couples within the same financial bracket. Also, those approved for mortgages are generally charged a higher interest rate, paying on average 0.2 percent more. Although this study does not analyze Canada’s state of affairs, it would be interesting to compare the US and our own country to see whether there’s a difference.
Since President Trump took office, the US State Department has been denying citizenship for children of same-sex couples who were born abroad through a surrogate. This is particularly troublesome as it’s common for American same-sex couples to come from the US to Canada, where it’s significantly less expensive than in the United States to find a surrogate to carry their child.
Long-term care facilities.
The setting for young people to come out as gay or lesbian is arguably friendlier than what’s happening with LGBTQ seniors. There have been documented case of transphobia and homophobia by healthcare professionals and in long-term care facilities. For some seniors, they are having to make the choice between whether to live publicly as an LGBTQ senior or to hide, due to the risk of receiving inferior care and discrimination. There’s a genuine fear from seniors of not having the same healthcare support their heterosexual counterparts would and do receive. Based off anecdotes shared by senior same-sex couples, it’s not a fear unfounded.
Blood donation ban.
For sexually active gay men and men in same-sex relationships, in Canada, there is a ton of red tape when it comes to giving blood. If you’re a man having sex with another man, you cannot give blood in Canada unless you abstain from sexual activity for 3 months. Prior to 2019, the abstinence wait time was 1 year. Despite scientific evidence arguing against this law and LGBTQ activities rightly arguing it’s discriminatory, in Canada, we continue to maintain this ban.
In Ontario, Doug Ford and the current provincial Conservative government has brought the sex-ed curriculum back to 1998. Students coming up in the Ontario public education system are unfortunately not learning about same-sex couples, in addition to numerous other elements of contemporary sexual identity such as consent and texting. For younger people interested in having same-sex relationships, this puts them at a disadvantage as the curriculum doesn’t reflect their identity and some would say it suppresses their same-sex relationship desire as it only acknowledges heterosexuality.
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