Canada Apologizes For Mistreatment Of LGBTs In The Past

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends LGBT Pride

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will formally apologize in the House of Commons in Ottawa this afternoon for the Canadian gay purge of the 1950s.

The “purge” began in the mid-20th century amid fears that the Soviet Union would be able to blackmail LGBTs for their private lives. Homosexuality was illegal in Canada until 1969.

In addition to the official apology, the government will offer reparation of over $100 million to those who were affected during the time.

The Canadian government will also donate $250,000 to LGBT charities that spotlight anti-LGBT discrimination and homophobia.

Legislation will be introduced that will allow Canadians to apply for removal of criminal records for convictions in the past, and families of those deceased will be able to do so as well to clear their loved ones’ names.

Canada is following the lead of several other major countries who have reflected on the poor treatment of LGBTs.

The United Kingdom has issued a formal apology to thousands of gay men convicted of anti-gay crimes in the mid-20th century, and Germany’s Parliament unanimously voted to pardon 50,000 men convicted of homosexuality in the past.

You can watch Trudeau in the House of Commons deliver the country’s apology at 12:15PM PT here.