Citizenship guide excludes mention of gay ‘rights’
Jason Kenney, the federal Citizenship and Immigration Minister, has come under fire for not including any mention of gay “rights” in the new Canadian citizenship study guide. The guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, will replace the 1995 version created by Jean Chretien’s Liberal government. The current edition includes more information on Canada’s military history, aboriginals, gender equality and minorities. Applicants for Canadian citizenship will be tested from March 15 on information from the new guide.
The Canadian Press, under the Access to Information Act, obtained earlier drafts of the guide with sections stating that homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969, that sexual orientation is protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that same-sex “marriage” was legalized in 2005. CP reported that Kenney’s office ordered the removal of these sections, even though senior department officials recommended they be reinstated. Kenney, after denying on March 3 that he made the changes, took “full responsibility” a day later on March 4 in the House of Commons.