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Payback time in Canada?

$1 coin commemorates end of laws against gay sex

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Canada is releasing a new $1 coin design to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality, reports Joe Morgan for Gay Star News. But the Canadian government will not reveal what the coin looks like – yet.

Laws criminalizing gay sex between consenting adults ended in 1969.

This was two years after then-justice minister Pierre Trudeau introduced amendments to the Criminal Code.

He declared: ‘There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation’.

The new coin design was also approved by the government of his son, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canada waiting to reveal design of commemorative $1 coin

But we’ll have to wait a while before we see the design of the coin.

The Royal Canadian Mint said they will not reveal its release date or artist name, saying it wants to ‘maximize the impact’ of the official launch.

The design is described as ‘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 …’

The dates 1969 and 2019 will be on the coin, as well as the word ‘equality’ in English and French.

This coin follows the official apology by the Canadian government in November last year.

Trudeau also especially addressed LGBTI service members who were ‘purged’ from the military.

Now imagine, if you will,’ Trudeau said. ‘Being told that the very country you would willingly lay down your life to defend, doesn’t want you, doesn’t accept you, sees you as defective, sees you as a threat to our national security.

‘Not because you can’t do the job, or because you lack patriotism or courage — no, because of who you are as a person, and because of who your sexual partners are.

‘Imagine having to fight for the basic rights that your peers enjoy, over and over again. And imagine being criminalized for being who you are. This is the truth for many of the Canadians present in the gallery today, and those listening across the country.’

He also said: ‘For state sponsored systemic oppression and rejection, we are sorry. For suppressing two-spirit indigenous values and beliefs, we are sorry. For [also] abusing the power of the law and making criminals of citizens, we are sorry.’

Trudeau continued: ‘For the government’s censure and its repeated attempts to stop you from building your communities. For denying your equality and forcing you to fight for that equality every day, often paying a high price to do so. For forcing you to live in the margins, for making you invisible and for humiliating you, we are deeply sorry. We were wrong.’