PHOTOS: New commemorative loonie marks progress’ for LGBTQ2 people

The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled a commemorative loonie meant to mark what it calls a key milestone for lesbian, gay, transgender, queer and two-spirited people.

The agency says the new one-dollar coin pays tribute to Parliament’s passing of legislation that “initiated the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.”

The coin, which starts circulating today, combines the words “Equality-Egalite” with the work of Vancouver-based artist Joe Average.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says there is more work to be done to advance equality and the federal government will continue to listen to the voices of protesters who are unhappy with the coin.

Historians and advocates attending today’s unveiling raised concerns about the message behind the new loonie, saying it mistakenly suggests equality has been achieved and largely as a result of the federal government’s actions.

The group also held a news conference near the mint’s event to challenge myths surrounding the 1969 Criminal Code reform.

READ MORE: B.C. man kicked out of military in LGBT Purge hears PM’s apology

READ MORE: Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

York University historian Tom Hooper, who is part of the group, says LGTBTQ people faced continued criminalization over the decades that followed the legal changes.

He said discrimination against LGBTQ people persists today, noting as examples that trans and queer people of colour still face issues with policing and people with HIV remain subject to criminalization.

The mint “could have consulted people who have knowledge of this history but they didn’t,” Hooper said, adding he hopes the agency will do so in the future.

He acknowledged no campaign can compete with roughly three million coins but said the project is at least fuelling a public conversation about LGBTQ history.

“As a historian, I’m hoping to inform as many people as I can about our history. So in some ways the coin is opening up that opportunity,” he said.

The mint has said it is largely informed by the Department of Canadian Heritage and its “anniversaries of significance” when it comes to selecting commemorative themes for coins.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Why one Langford teacher is giving his kidney to a stranger

‘You get butterflies in your stomach,’ says man who has had 12 reconstructive surgeries

Man with debilitating injuries from 2010 Saanich arrest will get new trial

A Court of Appeals Justice made the ruling on Monday in a Vancouver courtroom

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Greater Victoria School District will rename George Jay Elementary

The board will develop a committee to choose a new name

Students protest UVic’s new divestment policy

Divest UVic calls policy to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent over next 10 years “greenwashing”

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Greater Victoria’s wanted list for the week of Jan. 28

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

Caregiver, society charged in death of developmentally disabled B.C. woman

The victim was not given the ‘necessities of life,’ police said

B.C. councillor runs afoul of Coastal GasLink protester

Northern pipeline not a Maple Ridge issue, insists Coun. Gordy Robson

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Air Canada cancels select flights to China as coronavirus spreads

Canada’s largest airline runs 33 flights a week to China

Canadians seek way out of Wuhan as coronavirus continues to spread

The Chinese government has cut off access to Wuhan and 16 other cities

Most Read