June 2nd, 2015

LGBT members of Canadian forces should receive apology for past dismissals

As Pride celebrations start across Canada this month, NDP MP Craig Scott (Toronto-Danforth) is calling on the government to issue an official apology for the decades of discriminatory treatment of LGBT members of the Canadian Forces.

“I tabled Motion M-517 in the hopes of addressing a historic wrong and airing the discriminatory treatment of Canadians who were deemed by the military not to be good enough to serve and to sacrifice their lives for their country,” said Scott.

Scott’s legislation calls for an investigation into the many decades during which LGBT Canadians were dismissed from or forced to leave the Canadian Forces on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Motion would also seek to amend records to reflect honourable service, and have the government issue an official apology.

“Since 2009, New Democrats have urged the government to act on this blight on Canada’s military history,” said NDP LGBT critic Randall Garrison (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca). “We’re calling on the Minister of Defence to do the right thing.”

Scott and Garrison were joined at their press conference by Professor Gary Kinsman, author of The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation‎ (UBC Press), and Darl Wood, who was discharged from Canadian Forces Base Halifax in the late 1970s on the basis of her sexual orientation.