"To the victims of the purge...
November 28, 2017 7:54 PM   Subscribe

 
This included introducing legislation to expunge their criminal records.

The comment sections on news sites are full of the gnashing of teeth and the rending of garments about this: conservatives seemingly feel that once a criminal, always a criminal. I wonder if it is connected to their views on Canada's drug laws, under which cannabis is still a controlled substance and people are still being locked up for it, although in about seven months, that changes.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:25 PM on November 28 [5 favorites]


thanks so much for putting this together! it really is pretty moving to see all our party leaders/reps joining in for this.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 8:29 PM on November 28 [1 favorite]


Elizabeth May's speech at the end is particularly strong I think.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 8:47 PM on November 28


too little too late
posted by PinkMoose at 9:55 PM on November 28 [1 favorite]


too little too late

Nothing can be done about the too late part. As for the too little part; what do you think would be appropriate? Apparently the terms of the settlement are not finalized, nor public (I would assume they will be made public once the settlement is finalized, otherwise, WTF).

I'm not arguing that this is enough, I'm just wondering what would be.
posted by el io at 9:58 PM on November 28 [3 favorites]


It's astounding to see how much has changed in such a comparatively short time. The only thing that worries me is the thought that it could just as easily change *back* -- the thought is a horror.

I think it's watching the appalling changes south of the border: if the US becomes a Mccarthyite fortress of religious intolerance, what will happen to us?
posted by jrochest at 10:12 PM on November 28 [5 favorites]


C'est la vie, with a gallic shrug
posted by infini at 1:15 AM on November 29


Nothing like that will ever happen in the US until the crazy ass evangelicals are purged from the political process.
posted by james33 at 3:21 AM on November 29 [2 favorites]


Thanks for this post!

It's a start, but I'd love to see more than $250,000 in funding devoted to undoing the harm this caused. I live in Ottawa, which suffered particularly deeply under the Fruit Machine era, and $250,000 would be enough to allow our small LGBTQ2S community centre to have more than one staff person and to run the type of programming that our community desperately needs. All of the things that are being apologized for did so much tangible harm in my community that I'm still experiencing, even when they happened before I was born.

I also particularly appreciated Brenda Cossman & Daniel Del Gobbo's piece in the Globe about the necessity of also addressing HIV criminalization, cruising stings like Project Marie, and the other ways that queer, trans, and 2-spirit folks continue to be criminalized. For many, the blood ban is also on this list.
posted by ITheCosmos at 5:40 AM on November 29 [7 favorites]


With the Cold War in full swing, the Canadian government fears that closeted gays in the civil service, military or RCMP are a security risk - if their homosexuality was to be discovered by the enemy, they could be blackmailed into giving up government secrets.

Funny how it turned out a different sort of people are getting quite cosy with Russia. Maybe we need a (jack) Boot Machine.
posted by rodlymight at 6:16 AM on November 29


Nothing like that will ever happen in the US until the crazy ass evangelicals are purged from the political process.

I agree. And worth noting the Evangelicals have significant power in Canada's official opposition. So I guess there's always hope for you in the US, and always a risk for us in Canada that things swing back.
posted by chapps at 6:38 AM on November 29 [1 favorite]


I'm hoping the follow through is better than with the apologies to First Nations people.
posted by chapps at 6:39 AM on November 29 [2 favorites]


For many, the blood ban is also on this list.

You may be interested to know that this is in the process of changing - the "ban" is down to a 1 year deferral now and lots of research projects are exploring evidence-based ways to identify low-risk gay male donors (rather than using the risk assessment for the entire community). More changes will likely happen as evidence becomes available to support them.
posted by randomnity at 6:43 AM on November 29


With the Cold War in full swing, the Canadian government fears that closeted gays in the civil service, military or RCMP are a security risk - if their homosexuality was to be discovered by the enemy, they could be blackmailed into giving up government secrets.

This is always something that made me crazy; you couldn't tell them you were gay because if you were gay you could be blackmailed because someone might tell them you were gay! IF YOU JUST LET PEOPLE SAY "FYI BTW I'M GAY/BI/HOWEVER YOU IDENTIFY" THEN THEY CANNOT BE BLACKMAILED FOR IT! YOU ARE THE ONE CREATING THE BLACKMAIL RISK! JESUS CHRIST!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:08 AM on November 29 [7 favorites]


The Clerk of the Privy Council also sent out an email to all Public Servants reiterating the messages in the apology. It was actually kind of good.
posted by aclevername at 7:17 AM on November 29


>cannabis is still a controlled substance and people are still being locked up for it, although in about seven months, that changes.

Slight derail but the fact that Julian Fantino will be profiting from cannabis on Day 1 while (disproportionately POC) sellers serve sentences is galling.
posted by anthill at 9:37 AM on November 29 [3 favorites]


With the Cold War in full swing, the Canadian government fears that closeted gays in the civil service, military or RCMP are a security risk - if their homosexuality was to be discovered by the enemy, they could be blackmailed into giving up government secrets.

:
In theory, the effort to purge LGBT Canadians from public service in the military was part of a Cold War era campaign to prevent infiltration by the Soviet Union. The fear was that closeted gays and lesbians would be more susceptible to manipulation and subversion. There is no evidence anything like that ever happened.
At first listen, I thought they meant LGBT Canadians were thought to be susceptible to advances from Russian operatives that would then turn them into communists, though I now see how that could also mean being more susceptible to blackmail and similar threats and willing to act against their country to avoid being outed.

That said, I found Trudeau's statement to be a good one:
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.
NPR also noted that Trudeau's government agreed to pay roughly $140 million (USD) in compensation in settling a class action lawsuit.
CBC has more:
In addition, it plans a commemoration in 2019 of the 50th anniversary of the federal decriminalization of homosexual acts.

The government also plans to table legislation Tuesday to expunge the criminal records of people convicted of consensual sexual activity with same-sex partners, whether in civilian or military courts.
(This may already be covered in the articles linked in the OP, sorry)
posted by filthy light thief at 1:38 PM on November 29


Fruit Machine 2.0? The Economist: Advances in AI are used to spot signs of sexuality

Article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Deep neural networks are more accurate than humans at detecting sexual orientation from facial images. (Accepted recently but not published yet? That site offers a pre-print PDF and I can't find a DOI or publication date for it. Stanford press release on it is from September 7th.)

From the abstract,
...given that companies and governments are increasingly using computer vision algorithms to detect people’s intimate traits, our findings expose a threat to the privacy and safety of gay men and women.
posted by XMLicious at 2:11 PM on November 30


>cannabis is still a controlled substance and people are still being locked up for it, although in about seven months, that changes.

(sorry for the derail)

Um, the Cannabis Act has not passed; there has been no change in law.
posted by el io at 8:54 PM on November 30


filthy light thief: (This may already be covered in the articles linked in the OP, sorry)

Yup! :)

To be clear, that $145 million figure NPR was quoting in its coverage is CAD, so more like $114 million-ish (USD) with the current exchange rate.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:07 AM on December 1


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