November 29, 2017 | Sex & Society

Canada officially apologizes to gay community

Justin TrudeauYesterday, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau teared up as he officially apologised to the LGBT community over the government's persecution and prosecution of homosexuals.
 
“This is the devastating story of people who were branded criminals by the government -- people who lost their livelihoods, and in some cases, their lives,” he said. “These aren’t distant practices of governments long forgotten. This happened systematically, in Canada, with a timeline more recent than any of us would like to admit.”
 
Much of the apology was directed at members of the military and public service, who saw their careers and lives destroyed when they were outed and discharged from service. The gay purge actually started in the 1960s and eventually a device called the Fruit Machine was created to help; built by the University of Ottawa, the machine showed public servants and military personnel sexually explicit pictures and measured their reaction to determine their sexual orientation.
 
Even when the Fruit Machine was eventually dismissed as junk science, the purge continued; government employees were fired well into the 1990s if their sexuality was discovered.
 
Before the speech, the Canadian government also announced that it was setting aside $145 million to cover compensation claims by those convicted under anti-homosexuality laws.
 
“Apologies for things past are important to make sure that we actually understand and know and share and don’t repeat those mistakes," explained Trudeau earlier in the day, “There is still so much discrimination that recognizing it will make a big difference, and it will also help a whole bunch of people who hopefully wouldn’t have to go through in their future careers the kind of discrimination that happened in the past decades.”
 
The world definitely needs more Canada.
 
You can watch Trudeau's full speech below:
 

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