Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Will Apologize for Canada’s Anti-LGBT Past

Last year, Canada’s #1 musical export Justin Bieber topped the charts with a song that asks, “Is it too late now to say sorry?” It looks like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be answering that refrain: Now is a great time to say sorry.

Per multiple reports, Canada’s LGBT community can expect a formal apology in the next month or so from Trudeau. The apology will be an admission that the Canadian government has historically treated its sexual minorities unjustly.

In the past, Canadians have been:

  • Jailed for consensual homosexual acts
  • Denied marriage equality rights
  • Kicked out of the military for being gay
  • Legally fired from jobs because of their sexual orientation

Although an apology cannot change these and other forms of persecution that LGBT Canadians have experienced in the past, it is an important step for the nation’s leader to declare these actions to be wrong and pledge to protect the rights of the queer community moving forward.

While the prime minister’s press secretary was unwilling to confirm that an apology is forthcoming, he did acknowledge that the administration has been coordinating with Canada’s top LGBT group, Egale (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere), and hinted that Trudeau “will have more to say in the near future.”

Head of Egale, Helen Kennedy, was excited by the reports. “For the government to recognize the damage that is caused, the harm that it caused, to thousands and thousands of Canadians is a historic moment for our communities,” she said.

The apology is expected to come with several concrete reforms to ensure a better future for Canadian LGBT people, as well. According to The Globe and Mail, some of the ideas that Egale proposed that the Canadian government is currently weighing include:

  • Offering reparations to homosexuals who suffered from legalized discrimination
  • Retraining police officers to better understand that LGBT people have human rights and should not be unconsciously viewed as deviants and criminals
  • Developing a prison system that is more fair and humane for transgender inmates
  • Making the age of sexual consent the same for vaginal and anal sex – currently gay people must wait two years longer to legally have sex, which adds unnecessary shame

Canada is following closely behind a couple other countries that have asked the LGBT community for forgiveness. In May, Australia apologized for previously imprisoning men who engaged in consensual same-sex relations and began the process to have these convictions expunged from their criminal records.

At about the same time, Germany’s justice minister, Heiko Maas, apologized for homophobic laws enacted during Nazi rule. He similarly pledged to clear the convictions of men who were jailed for being gay.

Heck, this summer, even the pope said that Christians owe apologies to gay people for behaving offensively toward them.

Clearly, the time is right for Trudeau to take a similar stand and make amends on behalf of his country. He’s already become Canada’s most progressive leader in regards to gay rights by protecting transgender people from discrimination and attending gay pride parades, so a formal apology should help to cement that legacy.

Photo Credit: vl04

62 comments

Jerome S
Jerome S7 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S7 months ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven7 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven7 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Philippa Powers
Philippa P2 years ago

Thanks.

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Nathan D.
Nathan D2 years ago

This is indeed progress. Perhaps after the world's people have made amends with each other we will see fit to apologize to animals for all the abuses they have suffered at the hands of man and afford them some rights too? Life is life.

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heather g.
heather g2 years ago

Trudeau's govt is not at fault for the previous Conservative Govt's actions .... he as addressed most issues and laws

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Mia G.
Past Member 2 years ago

Good man.

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natasha salgado
Past Member 2 years ago

Our very cool PM in many ways!

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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