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Justin Trudeau delivers historic apology to LGBTQ community

News Agencies | Updated on: 29 November 2017, 10:46 IST

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has delivered a historic apology to the LGBTQ community for past injustices committed against them.

The Guardian quoted the Canadian President, as saying, in the House of Commons, that the gay intellectuals would be at increased risk of blackmail by Canada's adversaries was nothing short of a witch-hunt.

"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," Trudeau 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," he added.

The Canadian prime minister said the people were constantly monitored for anything that could be construed as gay behaviour at their workplaces, bars, parks and even their homes were under watch. Those admitted after interrogations to being gay were forced to leave their jobs.

"It is with shame and sorrow and deep regret for the things we have done that I stand here today and say: We were wrong. We apologise. I am sorry. We are sorry," Trudeau said to a standing ovation.

"For state-sponsored, systemic oppression and rejection, we are sorry," he added.

On 20 November, Trudeau had announced that his Government would offer a formal apology to the LGBTQ community.

"On 28 November, the Government will offer a formal apology to LGBTQ2 Canadians in the House - for the persecution & injustices they have suffered, and to advance together on the path to equality & inclusion," Trudeau said on Twitter.

The Canadian prime minister's announcement came at a time when Australia voted in favour of marriage equality, while the Turkish capital Ankara has banned all gay rights functions.

The apology is expected to be the most comprehensive ever offered by any national government for past persecution of sexual minorities.

The Canadian government has already taken other steps to reduce discrimination against sexual and gender minorities, such as passing legislation that bans discrimination against transgender Canadians and equalising the laws of consent for intercourse.

Earlier in July, Justin Trudeau became the first sitting prime minister to march in the Halifax Pride parade.

Dressed up in a pink shirt and white pants, the prime minister waved and yelled "Happy Pride!" to thousands of people along the parade route, stopping periodically to take selfies as members of the crowd called out his name. 


First published: 29 November 2017, 10:46 IST