Dalhousie Law Journal


equality, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, gays, lesbians, human rights, sexual orientation


Equality is a protean concept. Even if one has taken a position on the equality of opportunity versus equality of outcomes debate, there remains the problem of deciding what equality means in particular contexts: racial equality, equality between the sexes, between those with and without mental or physical disability, and so on. Finally, there is the issue of which groups in society are entitled to "equality", whatever it may mean. Given the open-ended nature of the equality guarantees contained in section 15 of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it is clear that groups other than those specifically mentioned therein may have claims to assert. This article will address the claims of gays and lesbians to equal treatment under section 15 of the Charter.