Canada’s governing Liberal party, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will introduced legislation later this year to pardon those convicted of historical sex acts with members of the same sex.

Laws banning gay sex in Canada were repealed in 1969, but the convictions under the old legislation still stand. This new legislation would pardon those who were convicted of gross indecency under historical laws banning sexual acts between members of the same sex.

Trudeau announced the plans with a tweet yesterday (June 14): “Today’s Pride flag raising marks a milestone as we work to right historical injustices against LGBTQ2 Canadians:

The legislation comes after LGBT+ advocacy group Egale recommended that these convictions be expunged in a report last year.

Announcing the planned legislation, Trudeau said: “Our government will be moving forward with a process for the expungement of criminal convictions for Canadians who were unjustly convicted of a crime simply for who they were and who they loved.

“We will acknowledge and apologize for the role played by legislation, programs and policies in the historical discrimination faced by (LGBTQ2) Canadians,” Trudeau said.

“I believe that it’s essential to make amends for past wrongs, not to simply gloss over them.”

Wearing rainbow socks for the occasion, Trudeau and his colleagues also raised the Pride flag in Canada’s parliament for the second time, after Trudeau started the new tradition last year.

In a statement outlining the legislation, Trudeau wrote: “Our government believes in equality and equal treatment for all Canadians. That is why we are moving forward on legislation that makes it possible to erase the convictions of Canadians who were unjustly convicted of a crime – simply for who they were, or who they loved.”

Earlier this year, the so-called “Turing’s Law” took effect in the UK, which allowed thousands of gay and bisexual men convicted under the UK’s historical anti-gay laws to be posthumously pardoned.

The “historic moment” was confirmed by the Ministry of Justice after the Policing and Crime Bill received Royal Assent from the Queen.

The legislation – first announced last year – pardons an estimated 49,000 men convicted of consensual same-sex relations before the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales in 1967.

More stories:
Pride march in Alabama protested by KKK members: “We do not allow this in Alabama”
Skittles ditch colours for LGBT Pride month because ‘only one rainbow matters’