Canada to apologise for historic discrimination against LGBT+ people
The Canadian government will formally apologise for historic discrimination committed against LGBT+ Canadians.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the government’s plan for the end of this month on Twitter.
Trudeau wrote: “On November 28, the Government will offer a formal apology to LGBTQ2 Canadians in the House – for the persecution & injustices they have suffered, and to advance together on the path to equality & inclusion.”
The apology will be given to the hundreds of LGBT+ Canadians who were discharged from the military or fired from the civil service.
A programme to root out gay and lesbian people was carried out until the late 80s, because it was a thought they posed a threat to national security.
Authorities used a creation called the Fruit Machine to supposedly identify homosexual people.
The discredited device, developed by a university in Ottawa, showed public servants and military personnel sexually explicit pictures and measured how they reacted.
Earlier this year Justin Trudeau vowed to tackle historic LGBT injustices, saying: “Our government believes in equality and equal treatment for all Canadians.
“That is why we are moving forward on legislation that makes it possible to erase the convictions of Canadians who were unjustly convicted of a crime – simply for who they were, or who they loved.”
Trudeau continued: “We will be introducing legislation on this later this year, and further we will acknowledge and apologise for the historical discrimination faced by LGBTQ2 Canadians.
“We are committed to apologising in an inclusive and meaningful manner before the end of 2017.”
The expected apology on November 28 will follow several other governments apologising for historic offences committed against LGBT+ people, including the government of Scotland earlier this month.
Trudeau’s government has previously vowed to issue a sweeping apology for historic gay convictions, prompting hopes that this month’s apology will begin to heal historic rifts between the government and LGBT+ citizens.
The Canadian government has recently taken steps to be more inclusive towards LGBT+ people.
This summer, the Canadian military focused on a rebranding effort in order to make the armed force more accepting for LGBT+ soldiers and potential recruits.
Canada recently made history by being one of the first countries to allow for a gender neutral ‘X’ marker on passports, replacing the ‘M’ or ‘F’ if a person wishes.
However, many LGBT+ Canadians are still disadvantaged, partially due to the existence of differing age of consent laws based on which sexual activity a person is doing.