Friend v. Alberta

In 1998, the ruling in the case of Friendly v. Alberta included the Supreme Court of Canada. Due to the legal battle for the LGBT, the matter is current at this time. For homosexuals, the equality concept does not hold true. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom is in conflict with the discrimination, according to the court's unanimous finding in the case. According to the reasoning, gays should be afforded the same protections as other groups, such as the underprivileged, by the government. The order of the court was to have an inclusion of sexual orientation in Alberta's legislation of human rights (David, 1995).

The objective of the conclusion was that the government and institutions would start to protect the homosexual. Friend v. Alberta is controversial because it discriminates individuals based on character and orientation. Especially in an organization where the claimant is forcefully evicted from work and forced to resign even after seeking assistance from the human rights group; they fail to help. It is wrong as every person has a right to be heard and to make complaints regarding unfair dismissal. Since the seeker performed the duties diligently and even got promotions, the grounds of orientation are not sufficient to unfairly dismiss the appellant from work (Rogerson, 1987). What needs to be explained from the case is whether the appellants' orientation affected job performance and if it did not, why was there a dismissal. Other questions include if the claimant was likely to influence other people and lastly if the hopeful continued to render the services that could have made the institution be afraid of the reputation and image or because the guidelines of the system were strict on the subject.


The claimant is an employee of a laboratory in a college in Alberta. The performance of the appellant is excellent, and the rewards are promotions and salary increments. Upon disclosure of sexual orientation, the president of the institution asked the seeker to resign from the college because of non-compliance with the protocol of the facility. The hopeful refuses to quit, and the employment contract is terminated. An application is also made for reinstatement, and it is not guaranteed because the aspirant is gay and the guidelines of the institution do not support people of the same character (David, 1995). A complaint of discrimination against social orientation is filled with the Alberta human rights commission, and it alleges that it is not in a position to offer assistance because the individual rights protection act excludes sexual orientation as a ground for protection.

The legal issues

Some crucial issues are raised from Friend V. Alberta. The core issue is if the omission of sexual orientation was deliberate in the provision of the legislation of the human rights and if there is a violation that is unjust on the s. 15(1) of the charter. The omission is problematic to the gay as the under inclusiveness denies them remedies in case of discrimination by the public (Rogerson, 1987). The issue raised by the case is that in case there was a failure to act, did it constitute a matter of legislation under section 32? The deliberate omission also addresses the issue of the roles of the legislature and the judicial branch of the government.


The claimant is unfairly dismissed from work because of sexual orientation. The appellant uses the procedural law, and at the proceedings, the argument is that the act applied in response to the case was violating section 15 of the Canadian charter of rights and freedom. The judge at the trial declares the law as unconstitutional and extends the protection against discrimination that is based on sexual orientation. The decision made is, however, overturned by the C.A of Alberta. The legal issue subject to section 1 through analysis of the case the court ruling indicated that there was a failure by the respondent to show an objective that was substantial. The application from the respondent was, therefore, dismissed on the ground that they failed to show a connection that was rational and also there was a failure on their part to show that there was an impairment that was minimal (Rogerson, 1987). Under section 15 of the act even if a legislature remained silent on a matter it was not a question of neutrality.

Social Implications of the Case


The minority in society are often faced with injustice. Few sections of the community are willing to defend the violation of their rights. The human rights societies are supposed to ensure they are given equal opportunities at work, and there is no prejudice in public. The objectives have not been achieved at present as some face harassment and torture that contributes to the increasing number of people who have committed suicide due to unfairness. The implications are that the gap of inequality will widen and we may have a society that is divided based on orientation and character (Antony, 1996). The division may create fear as the minority feel the majority can attack them. The setting of laws will govern the conduct of individuals as the legislation will have measures and remedies for those who break the law.

Political Implications of the Case

Public Protest

Injustices result in public protest, and it can significantly affect the peace and stability of a nation. Many people have died in public protest as a consequence of the stampede that is caused by angry protestors in the streets. The protests not only affect the image of a nation but also affect other sectors of the economy such as tourism that relies heavily on income generated by foreigners. There is a need for the legal authorities to set laws and regulations that are inclusive of the minority sections of the community (Antony, 1996). Such laws will create room for equal treatment and recognition of everyone. They will also allow people to get opportunities at work regardless of orientation and hence promote an environment at work that is accommodative of all sections of the community. It will create peace and an environment that allows everyone to live with no fear and conflict.


The Supreme Court ruling regarding the case is that the legislation of the human rights should adhere to the charter and that it should not be under inclusive in a manner that is unconstitutional. The exclusion of sexual orientation is discriminatory as all groups of people, including the disadvantaged, need protection. The homosexual face harassment that is severe, and there is the need to include clauses in law that protect their rights and give them equal opportunities for other people.


Beatty, David M. (1995) Constitutional Law in Theory and Practice. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Peacock, Anthony A., ed. (1996). Rethinking the Constitution: Perspectives on Canadian Constitutional Reform, Interpretation, and Theory. Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press.

Rogerson, Carol. (1987). “The Judicial Search for Appropriate Remedies Under the Charter : The Examples of Overbreadth and Vagueness”. In Robert J. Sharpe, ed. Charter Litigation. Toronto: Butterworths, 233.

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