Justin Trudeau to apologise to Canada’s LGBTI community


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will formally apologise for historical discrimination committed against LGBTI Canadians later this month.

Justin Trudeau tweeted: “On November 28, the Government will offer a formal apology to LGBTQ2 Canadians in the House – for the persecution and injustices they have suffered, and to advance together on the path to equality and inclusion.”

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The apology will address the thousands of queer Canadians who were discharged from the military or fired from the civil service from the 1950s until the late 80s, because it was thought they posed a national security threat.

The government used a “homosexuality test” known as the “fruit machine,” which purported to measure sexual arousal and proof of sexual orientation to back up the reason for firing, or denying someone a promotion.

A lawsuit from a discharged soldier led the military to lift the ban on LGBTI people in 1992.

In June 2016, Canadian LGBTI group Egale published a report listing a series of recommendations for the government to redress such injustices, including a formal apology.

Egale executive director Helen Kennedy told the Globe and Mail she was “quite emotional” at the Prime Minister’s announcement.

“For those who were directly impacted, I hope it gives them some vindication,” she said.

“Because we have been shut out for so long, and because being recognized is something we have fought for for so long, to have the Prime Minister of our country stand up and publicly acknowledge that on behalf of everyone in Canada is huge.”

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