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Bill to expunge gay-sex criminal records comes into effect in Canada

Lauren Franklin June 21, 2018
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Canadian Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau speaks at a press conference in Ottawa on October 20, 2015 after winning the general elections. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau reached out to Canada's traditional allies after winning a landslide election mandate to change tack on global warming and return to the multilateralism sometimes shunned by his predecessor. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

(Getty)

A new law in Canada means that it those convicted of homosexual acts will now have their criminal records erased.

On Thursday Bill C-66 was passed which allows Canadians, of family members of those who have died, to apply to tear up past criminal convictions for three offences – buggery, gross indecency and anal intercourse.

Gay men in Canada can now apply to have their criminal records related to homosexual sex erased

The bill comes with the historic apology that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued last year to members of the LGBT community who faced discrimination in the federal public service or military.

Canadians can apply free of charge and easily to have the Parole Board of Canada destroy their criminal records.

However critics say the bill doesn’t do enough.

Convictions for bathhouse raids which targeted gay men even the laws weren’t specific to sexual identity, have been omitted.

Trudeau has been committed to improving LGBT rights in the country and last month pledged to make it easier for gay men to give blood.

Until 2016, gay men had to abstain from having sex for five years if they wanted to be blood donors, before it was reduced to one year.

Photo: (GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)
Just Trudeau says the Canadian government is ‘committed to full equality of the queer community’ (Getty)

Collecting an award from the human rights group Egale Canada for his LGBT+ advocacy work, said his government was “working” on the issue.

“Yes, we’re working on it, but I’m upset too that it’s not there yet,” he said.

“Our entire government is committed to full equality for the queer community. You have my word on that.”

Trudeau said Canada had made great strides in LGBT+ equality, but there was more work to be done, such as addressing homelessness among young people and discrimination and abuse suffered by transgender Canadians.

“I will fight for you, and I will fight with you,” he said.

Related topics: Americas, Canada, Canada, Justin Trudeau

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