Statement - “This happened in our lifetime,” Canada’s human rights watchdog reacts to government’s apology to persecuted LGBTQ2 citizens

November 28, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

In response to the government’s apology today that addresses the historic persecution of members of the LGBTQ2 community, Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issues the following statement:

“The Canadian Human Rights Commission commends today’s apology to members of the LGBTQ2 communities. This is long overdue for so many Canadians and for equality rights activists and advocates across our country.”

“It may be hard for many of us to imagine, but the difficult truth that is officially being recognized today is that historically, innocent Canadians were systematically treated like outcasts or criminals by the state, simply because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Without legal protections or recourse such as those now provided by the Canadian Human Rights Act, LGBTQ2 people were regularly treated with suspicion and harassment, and in some cases were dismissed or even imprisoned. What is even more shocking is that, for many of us, this happened in our lifetime.

“While an apology cannot correct the past, this is an important milestone on the road to full equality and inclusion for every LGBTQ2I individual in Canada. There is still much to do, but this apology brings us closer to ensuring that all Canadians can grow up, learn, live and work in a country where everyone is included—regardless of whom they love or how they identify or express their gender.”


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