Current and former 2SLGBTQ+ members of the military, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and federal public service were presented with the Canada Pride Citation to honour the injustices and marginalization they experienced while serving their country.
The Canada Pride Citation is part of the historic 2018 Ross, Roy, and Satalic Final Settlement Agreement on the LGBT Purge that took place from the 1950s to the mid-‘90s in the armed forces, RCMP, and federal public service. An estimated 9,000 people were impacted by stalking, harassment, abuse, interrogation, and firing because of their identities and orientation.
“Survivors of the LGBT Purge and our families have pursued justice for a long time. The ceremonies for the Canada Pride Citations have been important and helpful in our healing journeys. We will wear our citations with pride as we move forward,” says Michelle Douglas, executive director of the LGBT Purge Fund and a purge survivor.
The regional presentations started in April with the first ceremony in Ottawa and a total of 19 ceremonies held in 12 cities across Canada. Recipients of the citation are given an insignia, a lapel pin, and a certificate of the award signed by the Chief of the National Staff.
The Department of National Defence says the Canada Pride Citation is “one way the government has taken action to address historical injustices experienced by LGBT military members, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and federal public servants.”
“Recipients of the Canada Pride Citation signed up to serve our country and instead were met with unjust policies and practices, during a shameful period we now refer to as the LGBT Purge,” says Anita Anand, the minister of national defence. “To the class members and their loved ones: I thank you for your service and sacrifice, and for standing up for what’s right.”
As part of the class action settlement, a national monument will be constructed in Ottawa in 2025 to memorialize the discrimination experienced by 2SLGBTQ+ peoples, and the abuse perpetrated by Canada.