Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made headlines by delivering an emotional filled apology to all members of the Canadian LGBTQ+ community for past discrimination and wrongdoing they endured. People around the world are praising Trudeau for his act of bringing awareness to the decades long struggle the LGBTQ+ community has faced against oppression at the hands of their own governments.
Today, we offer a long overdue apology to all those whom we, the Government of Canada, wronged. We are sorry. We hope by acknowledging our failings we can make the crucial progress LGBTQ2 people in Canada deserve. We will continue to support each other in our fight for equality because we know that Canada gets stronger every single day that we choose to embrace diversity - Trudeau
Some are wondering when (or if) other nations that have historically oppressed this community will also acknowledge their wrongdoings. However, others are questioning why apologies for past wrongs is necessary. Does apologizing really make a difference? Some say we should let the past stay in the past and it makes no sense to apologize for things others in the past did. This is the notion that I am addressing in this myTake.
I believe Canada is ahead of the game when it comes to gaining equality for all historically oppressed minority groups but it doesn't hurt to acknowledge that mistakes were made in the past. By acknowledging those mistakes, it shows a big step in the right direction and may even help other nations follow suit in giving their LGBT communities those basic rights that are still missing in much of the world.
Here is a brief excerpt of his speech.
As an example of one thing Trudeau is apologizing for, apparently "the government introduced legislation to expunge the criminal records of those convicted of having consensual same-sex activity. Canada decriminalized homosexuality in 1969, yet records of the convictions remain. The bill earmarks 4 million Canadian dollars ($3.11 million) over the next two fiscal years to carry out the destruction of these criminal records.
Trudeau also announced an agreement had been reached in a class-action lawsuit for 110 million Canadian dollars ($85.80 million) to be paid out to former civil servants and members of the military who lost their jobs because of their sexual orientation. A ban on lesbian and gay military service persisted until 1992." (taken from this news article).
I agree that it is unacceptable for members of the LGBTQ+ community to continue to carry around criminal records simply because of who they love! Actions like this can go a long way towards helping individuals reconcile with the Canadian government for the hatred they experienced in the past when Canada was not so LGBTQ+ friendly. It is also a big step towards healing. And since many of those people who experienced that discrimination are still alive today, I say apologizing IS necessary! I would also love to see more countries follow suit, acknowledge their wrongdoings, and continue to strive for equality.
What do you think about this? If you are not Canadian, do you feel your country should follow Trudeau's footsteps? Share your thoughts below. ❤️💛💚💙💜