LGBTQ Health and Public Policy:

Rainbow Health Ontario works with our partners in government, community and the health and social service sectors to develop and implement public policy that supports the health and well being of our communities.

Some of our recent policy work includes:


In December 2015, after consultations with community and health care professionals, RHO submitted policy recommendations to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care regarding increasing access to gender confirming surgeries in the province. Read our recommendations here.

In February 2016, RHO released a position statement regarding the closure of CAMH’s Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic. Read our position statement here.


LGBTQ communities have long tried to change unjust and discriminatory public policy as a means to increase our civil rights and freedoms. From the repeal of ‘homosexuality’ in the Criminal Code of Canada in 1969 to the recent addition of Gender Identity and Gender Expression to the Ontario Human Rights Code, activists in our communities have fought for changes in policy and legislation which have improved the lives of LGBTQ people. While many positive changes have been made in the last five decades our communities continue to experience systemic discrimination, health disparities and inequality.


The World Health Organization identifies “Healthy Public Policy” as one of five core health promotion strategies. Healthy public policy is not limited to health care policy; rather it means that policy makers need to consider the health impacts of all public policy.