Canada Should Apologise To Discharged Gay Veterans

July 31st, 2009

Actual WWII photo

NDP MP Peter Stoffer has called on the government to formally apologise to all veterans who were dishonourably discharged from the Canadian army for being gay. Until 1992, gay men and women were not allowed to serve in the military, and anyone found to be gay would be “discharged with ignominy.”

If the apology is issued, the government would also change the word “dishonourable” to “honourable” on the official records, which are publicly accessible to anyone.

Even when placed in its historical context, discharging a capable soldier simply for loving someone of the same sex is a strange thing to do—particularly given that Canada had to resort to conscription during World War II, and that these soldiers were willing to sacrifice everything for their country. Canada should absolutely apologise, and do it soon.

While Defence Minister Peter MacKay has said he will look into it, so far nothing has been done since Stoffer suggested the action three months ago.