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Successful Struggle of Canadian LGBT Community

Over the years, the Canadian LGBT community has managed to achieve its ultimate goal: official recognition of their rights, including the right to legal marriage in 2005 (Gallagher par. 17). Their dedication, hard work, and commitment to the issue yielded results that nobody could even have dreamt of several decades ago. According to Smith, the Canadian LGBT movement might be considered the strongest social initiative in the world (73).

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The successful struggle of the Canadian LGBT community throughout the years has revealed certain aspects of social evolution in Canada. It is indicative of the nation’s active position towards social change in the country. Gallagher emphasizes that their persistent efforts have changed the way Canadian society perceives homosexuals (par. 8). Although there are authors who challenge this standpoint by indicating the crucial role of political institutions in this historic transformation (Miriam 74), it is undeniable that the LGBT community’s fight has shaped Canadian society.

The struggle of LGBT people over the years yielded excellent results. The year 2016 saw the endorsement of equal rights by conservatives in Canada. These changes in Canadian society entail the important role of self-knowledge, as indicated by Symons (13), as well as the critical approach regarding this very knowledge. With the contradictory character of the development of Canadian society, it is important to take into consideration the concept of critical nationalism.

Critical nationalism is crucial because the multifaceted character of Canadian society makes it difficult for a national identity to be determined (Geneviève 4). Critical nationalism is a concept that defines nationalism based on action, rather than the identification of so-called national traits. It is a critical attitude that helps explain the contradictory evolution of society, inform a strategy for the future, and describe the nature of changes.

Kennedy claims that the purpose of critical nationalism is to encourage members of society to evaluate their actions and values objectively and improve them whenever they are unsatisfactory (par. 14). Over the years, Canada has evolved in a manner that could be described as following the principles of critical patriotism, and the LGBT community provides an excellent example. Their struggle managed to modify societal perceptions and bring about significant change that altered the country’s overall system of values.

Given the complex nature of Canadian identity and Canadians’ deep sense of internationalism (Berdahl and Rayney 1), the studies of Canada’s development are of utmost importance. The most remarkable feature is social activism, which is the driving force in this process. Studying Canadian social initiatives provides insights into the various aspects that compose Canadian identity. The history of this process is an important lesson, determining the need to study Canada’s path of development.

Gallagher’s perspective reveals another crucial issue. The prospect of the further development of social movements is what makes the studies necessary. Canadian studies should be seen through the prism of the past but with an eye toward the future.

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Works Cited

Berdahl, Loleen, and Tracey Raney. “Being Canadian in the World.” International Journal 65.4 (2010): 995-1100. Print.

Gallagher, Bob. LGBT Progress Is a Canadian Success Story. 2016. Web.

Geneviève, Richard. Nature and National Identity. Contradictions in a Canadian Myth, Ottawa: Capstone Seminar Series, 2012. Print.

Kennedy, David. The Truest Measure of Patriotism. 2000. Web.

Smith, Miriam. “Canada: The Power of Institutions.” The Lesbian and Gay Movement and the State: Comparative Insights into a Transformed Relationship. Ed. Manon Tremblay, David Paternotte, and Carol Johnson. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, 2011. 73-89. Print.

Symons, Thomas Henry Bull. To Know Ourselves. The Report of the Commission on Canadian Studies, Ottawa: Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, 1975. Print.

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