The “We Demand an Apology Network” demands an apology for the historical wrongs committed by the Canadian government against LGBT people. We bring together people who were directly affected by the national security campaigns to purge ‘homosexuals’ from the public service, the RCMP and the military, and supporters and researchers who believe an injustice was done.
At the same time as the Canadian government claims to be a firm supporter of LGBT rights on a world-scale, it has still not come to terms with the anti-LGBT national security purge campaign directed against LGBT people in Canada that it was directly responsible for. This campaign led to surveillance on thousands of people and the destruction of the careers and livelihood of hundreds (perhaps thousands) of LGBT people from the 1950s until the 1990s. For example, in the 1960s the RCMP created a list of more than 9,000 suspected homosexuals in the Ottawa area. They attempted to develop a ‘fruit machine’ to identify ‘homosexuals’ using federal research moneys in the 1960s. Identification as a ‘confirmed’ homosexual meant the loss of employment and denial of security clearances. People were watched, followed, interrogated, and purged from their jobs. Research indicates that the historical campaign against ‘homosexuals’ also resulted in deaths (Gouliquer, Poulin & Hobson, 2012). Fiona, the sister of a discharged soldier discusses her brother’s suicide:
“He was traumatized… They [Canadian military] made him believe that he was a pervert.… That he could never be trusted with anything or anyone…. He said [in his note] that he’d ruined our mother’s life, his life, everyone’s life, and he could no longer live with that.” (Fiona).
There has never been an apology from the government for the injustice and harm caused by this campaign. We demand an apology and the commitment that such a campaign will never happen again. Sign the petition: http://chn.ge/1LOgmlV