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Canada’s new gay coin upsets activists

The new LGBT loonie that will be launched April 23 commemorates 50 years since Canada partially decriminalized homosexuality. This has upset not just social conservatives, but also from LGBT groups who say the event is worth celebrating.

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC
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Pierre Trudeau famously stated that “there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” But to some, there is no room in their wallets for this new gay coin.

A new dollar coin has been designed to commemorate half a century of gay rights. Unfortunately, no pandering is enough, as even making a coin to celebrate the strides made by the LGBT community is not enough to please the social justice masses.

The new LGBT loonie that will be launched April 23 commemorates 50 years since Canada partially decriminalized homosexuality. This has upset not just social conservatives, but also from LGBT groups who say the event is worth celebrating.

Canada decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults on May 14, 1969. This was a full month and a half before the infamous Stonewall riots in New York City, which many consider the start of the modern gay rights movement. A month later, the first gay pride demonstration took place on Christopher Street in New York City. Canada, in comparison to our closest ally, was forward thinking.

One York University historian, Tom Hooper, is saying that the coin is problematic. “I feel like they’re putting this myth onto a coin. They’re stamping this coin with 1969 and right next to it ‘equality’ and there was nothing in 1969 to do with equality,” he says.

“Even the people who supported the Criminal Code reforms were arguing that we were a mental disease. So this was not about equality.”

On the other side of the coin is David Cooke, a social conservative and member of Citizen Go Canada. Cooke accuses the Mint of politicizing Canada’s coins in order to promote a “gay agenda.”  Cooke accuses the prime minister of using LGBT issues to divide Canadians.

“What we see here happening with Mr. Trudeau is, he’s going really too far. He’s not only going back into the debate, he’s taking a side,” he said.

“He’s saying we as a country, and we as Canadian citizens, are not only saying we approve of homosexual behaviour and lifestyle, but we want to have every citizen have it on their coinage. It’s going to be celebrated, going to be promoted and many Canadians find that very disturbing and even offensive.”

These sentiments aren’t unheard of from Canadians, as progressive a reputation we may have. More than 33,000 Canadians signed a petition protesting the Canadian government’s initiative to produce a loonie commemorating the decriminalization of private homosexual acts.

“Say NO to a ‘Gay’ loonie!”—the Citizen Go Canada petition points out the hypocrisy of one Trudeau saying that the government has no place in the bedrooms of citizens, while his son, the current PM, celebrates those same private acts that the government has no business of knowing about.

“(Before) Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau decriminalized homosexual acts in 1969, he famously said, ‘there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation,’” the petition to the Mint reads.

“In other words, people’s private sexual practices should stay private, and the government should keep out. If that is the case, then why are you promoting certain sexual practices on Canada’s official coinage?”

As of April 23, the L in LGBT will stand for loonie. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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