Canada repeals historic laws targeting women, LGBTQ community | Inquirer News

Canada repeals historic laws targeting women, LGBTQ community

/ 07:54 AM March 08, 2023

Canada expunges historic indecency and anti-abortion laws targeting women and the LGBTQ community

FILE PHOTO: Canada’s Minister for Women, Gender Equality and Youth Marci Ien speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 1, 2022. REUTERS/Blair Gable

TORONTO — Canada has expunged historic indecency and anti-abortion laws targeting women and the LGBTQ community, the government said Tuesday, in a criminal justice system reform that will allow people convicted under such offenses to clear their records.

The repealed laws had targeted women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals’ access to abortion as well as to bathhouses, nightclubs, and swinger clubs, considered to be safe spaces for queer communities.


“Canadians deserve non-discriminatory policies that put their safety first,” Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth said in the statement.


She said the government recognizes that past laws and regulations were unjust and compromised the freedoms of LGBTQ communities and women.

By repealing these laws, people with previous convictions can apply for an expungement order for free under the 2018 Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act, which allows for the permanent destruction of “historically unjust records of conviction.”

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Applicants will need information regarding the conviction to meet certain criteria. If the person convicted has passed away, a family member or trustee may apply on their behalf.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have used indecency laws to raid gay nightclubs and bathhouses across Canada, charging customers, employees and performers. In 1981, some 286 men were charged under these outdated laws in Toronto for being at a bawdy house.

The anti-abortion law has been outdated since 1988 when the Supreme Court of Canada named the law unconstitutional.



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TAGS: Canada, Laws, LGBTQ, Women

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