50 years ago, Pierre Trudeau, the father of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, introduced amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code in 1967 that decriminalized same-sex relationships two years later. His words regarding the matter echoed a very libertarian sentiment:
There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation. What’s done in private between adults doesn’t concern the Criminal Code.
Before the 1960s amendments, homosexuality was criminalized among the public, and Canadian government employees also suffered a purge before the amendments took effect. Justin Trudeau apologized for this and set aside CAN$110 million to compensate those affected. Furthermore, The Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act allows an estimated 9,000 people to apply for the permanent removal of criminal records that resulted from the convictions of same-sex activity between consenting adults. In Justin Trudeau’s speech to the House of Commons in 2017, he emphasized his remorse for the previous actions of the Canadian government:
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’. . . . It is my hope that in talking about these injustices, vowing to never repeat them, and acting to right these wrongs, we can begin to heal.
Now, 50 years later, a new Canadian dollar is set to commemorate the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada and its design was approved on December 14 by the Canadian government. While the design of the new reverse, and its designer, remain a secret for the time being, some hints have been released from a cabinet order and were reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC):
(The reverse is a) stylized rendering of two overlapping human faces within a large circle, the left half of the left face in front view and the right face in profile facing left, the two faces forming one whole face in front view composed of two eyes with eyebrows, a nose, a mouth and two ears with a small hoop earring on the left ear.
Additionally, the word “equality” will be displayed on the coin in English and French. The designer of the reverse has simply been identified as “RA,” but it is also known from Mint Spokesman Alex Reeves that two LGBTQ organizations provided assistance in the matter.
Despite the coin’s commemorative dates of 1969 and 2019, according to Cameron Aitken, a spokesman for the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (