Gays & Lesbians in the Military and Their Partners

Facts

Prior to 1992: Under the Canadian Forces Administrative Orders and the National Defence Act, any member of the Canadian Forces who was suspected of being or found to be a 'homosexual' was investigated, interrogated, and discharged from the Canadian military (CAFO 19-20). Many Canadians were humiliated, degraded, lost their military careers, suffered health-wise, and some did not survive the ordeal due to the discrimination they endured from the military investigations. Canada owes them an apology. The following quotes illustrate their experiences (Note: all names and identifying information has been changed to protect the individuals):


Danni recalls, that the Canadian specialised military police unit (SIU) "locked the car. I kid you not. They marched me out of work, one on either side of me, stuck me in the back of the freaking K-car. It was specifically intimidating. Then they put me in the little four-by-six room and … said -- We’ve been told that you’re a practising homosexual." (Danni: Reservist, 1978–80) (Poulin, Gouliquer, & Moore, 2009, p 502).


Issy recalls how the military special police force interrogated her for explicit personal details: "They wanted to know how many times I had an orgasm! They wanted to know positions. They wanted to know every detail" (Issy: Regular Force soldier, 1980–90). (Poulin, Gouliquer, & Moore, 2009, p 501). Zachary recalls this about his interrogations: “The question they asked me… repeatedly was: If you get a blow job, do you ejaculate in the guy’s mouth?”


Guilaine talks about how she nearly lost her life after being discharged from the Canadian military: "When I left the military, I was about 23 … I started to work but I lost my night job and I could not continue school, I had no more income ... I fell into a deep depression and attempted suicide’ (Guilaine: Reg. Force, 1981–84). (Poulin, Gouliquer, & Moore, 2009). Fiona, the sister of a former discharged soldier discusses how her brother was affected and his suicide: “He was traumatized… They made him believe that he was a pervert.… That he could never be trusted with anything or anyone…. He said that he’d ruined our mother’s life, his life, everyone’s life, and he could no longer live with that.” (Fiona).


"You couldn’t be gay. And God help you if you were.” (Larry)

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Between 1997 and 2010, we conducted a longitudinal project investigating the experiences of lesbian and gay military members and their partners. Little was known about their stories and experiences, and this research begins to fill this gap in the literature. What started as the Masters’ research project of Lynne Gouliquer, the cofounder of P-SEC, quickly expanded to include lesbians and gays, currently serving in the Canadian military and those who had lost their careers due to a prejudiced policy. Our investigation uncovered stories of discrimination, challenge, resilience, hope, and change.

We Demand an Apology Network

The "We Demand an Apology Network" demands an apology for the historical wrongs committed by the Canadian government against LGBT people. Read more

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Réseau Nous Exigeons Des Excuses:

Le réseau Nous exigeons des excuses réclame des excuses pour les torts historiques perpétrés par le gouvernement du Canada à l'encontre des LGBT. Suit

Media

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Project Description

In 1968, the Canadian Parliament decriminalized homosexual behaviour and same-sex relations between consenting adults. The parallel military policy, however, remained in …

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Publications

Gouliquer, L. (2012). Examining the life world of Canadian female soldiers: The effects of blatant and subtle discrimination. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie …

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Presentations

St. Pierre, M., Poulin, C., & Gouliquer, L. (2005). Homosexual identity development in the context of the Canadian Forces: Organisational influences, schematic …

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Media

Des victimes des politiques anti-gais demandent des excuses officielles
Des victimes des politiques anti-gais demandent des excuses officielles

Le Devoir - 17 août 2015

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Sommes-nous aussi tolérants qu'on le dit envers les gais-lesbiennes-bi et transgenre?
Sommes-nous aussi tolérants qu'on le dit envers les gais-lesbiennes-bi et transgenre?

FM 98,5

 

Émission : Isabelle

Intervenants : Marie-Claude Lavallée

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Seeking Apology for Treatment
Seeking Apology for Treatment

CBC Shift NB, June 4, 2015

Dr. Lynne Gouliquer's interview with Vanessa Vander Valk

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En croisade à Ottawa pour les droits des homosexuels dans l'armée
En croisade à Ottawa pour les droits des homosexuels dans l'armée

Radio-Canada, June 3, 2015

Dr. Carmen Poulin's interview with Martine Blanchard (French)

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Coalition Calls for Official Apology for Anti-LGBT Military Purge
Coalition Calls for Official Apology for Anti-LGBT Military Purge

Daily Xtra, Mario Vigliotti, June 4, 2015

Decades-long campaign exposed and fired Canadian gays and lesbians.

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Former Canadian Forces Members Say They were Kicked Out for Being Gay, Ask Government for Apology
Former Canadian Forces Members Say They were Kicked Out for Being Gay, Ask Government for Apology

Global News, Vassy Kapelos, June 2, 2105

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LGBTQ Members of Canadian Forces Should Receive Apology for Past Dismissals
LGBTQ Members of Canadian Forces Should Receive Apology for Past Dismissals

Craig Scott, MP News - June 2, 2015

This news link also contains the information for "We Demand an Apology Network."

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A military first
A military first

CBC, THE NATIONAL, Jun 7, 2013

A gay pride flag has been raised at a military base for the first time in Canadian history

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Le drapeau de la fierté gaie flotte à la base militaire d'Edmonton
Le drapeau de la fierté gaie flotte à la base militaire d'Edmonton

Radio Canada, 7 juin 2013

Pour la première fois dans l'histoire des Forces canadiennes, le drapeau de la fierté gaie a été hissé dans une base militaire du pays, celle d'Edmonton.

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CBC News World at Six
CBC News World at Six

CBC News - World at 6, June 7, 2013

Team

  • Carmen Poulin, PhD
  • Lynne Gouliquer, PhD
  • Beverly C. S. Brazier
  • Jessica McCutcheon
  • Jennifer A. Moore
  • Kristina Hobson
  • Melissa St. Pierre, PhD, Post-Doctoral Visitor
  • Heather Roxborough
  • Dhanushka Nanayakkara
  • Jacqueline Harvey

How to Help

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There has been no formal apology from the Government of Canada for the harms done due to the treatment and discharge of numerous honourable military soldiers for simply their sexual orientation: IT IS TIME FOR CANADA TO APOLOGISE.

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