Just Under Half (48%) of Canadians Say They Would Be Likely to Speak up Against Homophobic or Transphobic Comments on Social Media

Although There is Strong Support in Canada for the LGBTQ2S+ Community, Canadians are Split on Active Engagement

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  • Meghan Miller Senior Account Manager, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, September 3, 2023 – Although LGBTQ2S+ Pride Month, celebrated in June in Canada, has concluded, Pride celebrations continue across many provinces in the country through the summer months. In what is currently an environment of heightened tension likely influenced by recent anti-LGBTQ2S+ movements in the United States,[i] a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News finds that while Canadians are broadly supportive of the LGBTQ2S+ community, more so than many other countries globally, likelihood to engage in supportive behaviours for this community is more divided.

Canadians Maintain General Support for LGBTQ2S+ Community, Women and Younger Canadians Most Likely to Actively Engage

When asked how likely they would be to participate in various activities related to the status of the LGBTQ2S+ community in Canada, 48% of Canadians say they would speak up against homophobic or transphobic comments on social media; 46% say they would sign a petition in support of LGBTQ2S+ rights; 46% say they would talk to family and friends about LGBTQ2S+ rights; and 32% say they would be likely to take actions to support LGBTQ2S+ rights, such as attend a rally or donate to an LGBTQ2S+ charity. A consistent portion of around three in ten (between 27% and 36%, respectively) say they would be “very unlikely” to do each of these things.

Women and younger Canadians are significantly more likely to say they would support the LGBTQ2S+ community in each of these ways. This is congruent with findings from recent research conducted by Ipsos[ii] which show that these groups are more likely to identify as LGBTQ2S+ themselves and to say they have a friend, relative, or work colleague who is LGBTQ2S+. With this level of familiarity or identification with the LGBTQ2S+ community, these groups are consequently more likely to express support when it comes to same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption and parenting, and various measures in support of transgender Canadians.

In addition, with the exception of attending a rally or donating to an LGBTQ2S+ charity, likelihood to show support tends to be higher among Canadians with a post-secondary- or university-level education compared to high school graduates or those with less education.

Reported likelihood to speak up against homophobia and transphobia is highest in Quebec (55%) and Atlantic Canada (56% vs. 50% SK/MB, 47% BC, 45% ON, 38% AB). Those in Alberta are the most likely to say they would not speak up against homophobia or transphobia online (62% vs. 55% ON, 53% BC, 50% SK/MB, 45% QC, 44% ATL).

Despite this split in day-to-day engagement among the overall population, recent Ipsos data show that strong majorities of Canadians continue to express support for the LGBTQ2S+ community. For example, most say transgender people should be protected from discrimination in employment, housing, and access to businesses such as restaurants and stores (78%) and believe same-sex couples should have the same rights to adopt children as heterosexual couples do (74%).[iii] These scores sit above the global average, higher than many other countries around the world.

While Canadians’ attentions may be elsewhere right now – such as the continued economic crunch[iv] or what is increasingly perceived as a difficult housing market[v] – direct opposition to the LGBTQ2S+ community is not the norm in Canada. However, there appears to be a notable say-do gap of support vs. engagement among Canadians overall, though there may be changes over time as the youngest, and most engaged, generations continue to shape Canadian cultural consciousness.

One in 10 Canadians Self-Identify as An Active Ally to the LGBTQ2S+ Community

When asked to describe their opinion when it comes to the LGBTQ2S+ community, just under half (47%) of Canadians express some degree of support, either in that they consider themselves active allies/engaged members of the community (10%) or that they support the LGBTQ2S+ community, but do not actively engage in allyship (37%). Three in ten (29%) say the LGBTQ2S+ community does not impact them at all or that they don’t think about it and one in five (19%) say they do not support the LGBTQ2S+ community. Among LGBTQ2S+ Canadians specifically, 6% say that they do not actively engage in the community.

Younger Canadians aged 18-34 are significantly more likely to consider themselves active allies (19% vs. 9% 35-54, 6% 55+), while support without necessarily active allyship is higher among women (42% vs. 32% men).

The sentiment that the LGBTQ2S+ community does not impact one’s life or that they don’t think about it increases with age (21% 18-34, 28% 35-54, 34% 55+). Those in Alberta are significantly more likely than those in all other regions to say they do not support the LGBTQ2S+ community (32% vs. 20% ON, 16% QC, 14% SK/MB, 13% ATL, 11% BC).


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between June 20th to 21st, 2023, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.


For more information on this news release, please contact:

Meghan Miller
Senior Account Manager, Ipsos Public Affairs Canada
[email protected]  


About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

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[i] https://globalnews.ca/news/9803806/lgbtq-attacks-pride-month-canada-us/

[ii] https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/lgbt-pride-2023-survey-insights

[iii] https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/pride-month-2023-9-adults-identify-lgbt

[iv] https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/despite-softening-inflation-canadians-affordability-concerns-remain-acute

[v] https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/six-in-ten-canadians-who-dont-own-home-have-given-up-on-owning

The author(s)
  • Meghan Miller Senior Account Manager, Public Affairs