Gay pay for straight work


Wages in Canadian labour market stratified by sexual orientation

Canada has been a leader in providing employment protections for sexual minorities and social acceptance of non-heterosexuals has increased significantly in Canada. But, despite this and the 2005 decision by the federal government to legalize same-sex marriage across the county, gay men and lesbians are economically disadvantaged in the Canadian labor market, relative to heterosexual men, say researchers from McGill University.

Using Canadian census data from 2006 McGill PhD Candidates in Sociology, Sean Waite and Nicole Denier, report in the journal Gender and Society, wage gaps in the Canadian labour market are stratified by sexual orientation.


Share lines/Highlights:

  • Coupled gay men earn about 5% less than coupled heterosexual men; whereas, coupled lesbians earn 9% less than coupled heterosexual men.
  • Wage gaps reduced and/or eliminated for sexual minorities relative to heterosexual men in the public sector.
  • Wage gaps vary significantly across occupations. Some of the largest wage gaps are concentrated in the highest paid occupations, such as management and business and finance occupations

For more information:

"Gay Pay for Straight Work: Mechanisms Generating Disadvantage by Sean Waite and Nicole Denier is published in Gender & Society:


Contact Information

Cynthia Lee
McGill University
cynthia.lee [at]
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