LGBTQ+: 3 Types of Discrimination

Legal News

In Quebec, discrimination against LGBTQ+* people is illegal. There are ways to report it. Do you know your rights? May 17th is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. Here are three examples of how the law protects you.

At work

Olivier is an employer. Mark is a great worker. However, Olivier refuses to promote him because “gay people don’t make good team leaders”.

This is discrimimation.

An employer cannot refuse to hire or promote someone because of their personal characteristics. Some examples of protected characteristics are sex, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation.

Psychological harassment and sexual harassment at work are also illegal.


Sarah owns a rental building. When she learns that her new tenants, Emma and Louise, are a couple, she refuses to let them sign a lease.

A landlord cannot refuse to sign a lease with someone due to their sexual orientation or their gender identity or expression.

Landlords also cannot end a lease, discriminate against, or harass a tenant for these reasons.

Access to services, transportation, and public spaces

Roger works at an insurance company. He insists on using Olivia’s old male name despite being told to stop by Olivia.  

It’s illegal to treat someone differently when providing services due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

It’s also illegal to refuse to provide them goods or services which are otherwise offered to the public.

Finally, it’s illegal to discriminate against someone by refusing them access to public transportation or to places open to the public like shops, restaurants, parks, churches, schools, or cinemas.

What are your options?

If you believe you have been discriminated against, there are options.

To make a complaint, visit the Commission des droits de la personne et de la jeunesse (human rights commision)’s website.

If a federally regulated business (for example, banks, post office, airline, or telecom company) or the federal government is involved, you must file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer. To better understand this vocabulary, you can read the Canadian government’s glossary.