Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered an apology for a discriminatory and unjust campaign by the federal government against LGBT people.
The apology was specifically addressed victims what is referred to as the Gay Purge. It was a campaign that began in the 1950s and continued until the 1990s in which the Canadian government targeted civil servants believed to be homosexual, bisexual, or transgender.
Thousands of Canadians who were in the public service, military, and RCMP were fired, discharged, or intimidated into leaving their jobs due to what Trudeau called "nothing short of a witch hunt".
Suspected individuals were subjected to surveillance, interrogations, polygraph tests, or evaluations by a questionable device called the "fruit machine" (which measured the physical responses of subjects as they were forced to look at pornography), as well as sexual assault and blackmail.
Trudeau noted how government laws and policies enforced inequality and "legitimized hatred and violence and brought shame to those targeted."
"The government of Canada exercised its authority in a cruel and unjust manner," Trudeau stated in the House of Commons in Ottawa. "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 apologize. I am sorry. We are sorry.' "
Trudeau, who was brought to tears by the apology, said that he hoped the day would serve as a "turning point" and asked Canadians to commit to ending discrimination against LGBT people, who continue to face higher rates of aggression, violence, mental-health issues, and homelessness, reports Straight.com
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