Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marches in the Ottawa Capital Pride parade, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. The apology from Trudeau for past state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBTQ people is welcome news for those who have been calling for such an expression of regret, but some think he is not the only one who should be there.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marches in the Ottawa Capital Pride parade, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. The apology from Trudeau for past state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBTQ people is welcome news for those who have been calling for such an expression of regret, but some think he is not the only one who should be there.
Photo Credit: Justin Tang/Canadian Press

Apology and money to Canada’s LGBT community today

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Canada’s federal Liberal government is set to announce a formal apology to Canada’s LGBT community today.

The apology is in relation to legal and other actions taken against large numbers of public servants and military members in the years after the Second World War and throughout the Cold War era.

A man holds a modified Canadian flag with Pride colours during the gay pride parade in Toronto, June 30, 2013.
A man holds a modified Canadian flag with Pride colours during the gay pride parade in Toronto, June 30, 2013. © Mark Blinch/Reuters

During the 1950’s through to the 1990’s thousands of employees and military members were fired or even jailed as part of a “gay purge”  for alleged security reasons.

In the military, some were discharged with the label, “psychopathic personality with abnormal sexuality”.

The feeling especially during the Cold War was that gay and lesbian civil servants and military personnel could be blackmailed into giving out government secrets by Soviet agents.

The federal police agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) even went so far as to have a university psychologist create a machine to detect homosexuals in the 1960’s.

The so-called *fruit machine* completely flawed, it was nonetheless used to detect homosexuals in the civil service and military. The original was more complex than this similar version and was destroyed. This replica is displayed in the Canadian War Museum as part of the activities of the RCMP during the Cold War.
The so-called *fruit machine*: completely flawed, it was nonetheless used to detect homosexuals in the civil service and military. The original was more complex than this similar version and was destroyed. This replica is displayed in the Canadian War Museum as part of a display on the activities of the RCMP during the Cold War. © via CBC

The so-called electropsychometer  nicknamed the “fruit machine” by police, measured physical reaction, such as heart rate, and eye dilation, to a series of questions and images thought to appeal to homosexuals.

Kiippert’s case helped spur the decriminalization of same sex acts between consenting adults. Although that happened in 1969, Klippert wasn’t released until 1971. In 2016 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Klippert’s record would be cleared with a full pardon. © Submitted by Kevin Allen / Klippert family)

The federal apology comes with a $100 to $145 million compensation package as a settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the government for its past discrimination of homosexuals.

Details of the settlement are still to be worked out, but potentially thousands of people will be eligible for financial compensation. Individual compensation will be determined on the basis of the degree to which each person suffered. (agreement in principle-HERE)

The lawsuit was filed one year ago against firings and discrimination of gays and lesbians over their sexual orientation.

In 1969, homosexuality was decriminalized in Canada.

CBC Archives- being gay in the 60’s

Additional information – sources

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