'I'm going to cry': Justin Trudeau's LGBT apology long overdue, Winnipeg gay activist says
Prime minister set to apologize Tuesday for persecution of LGBT people
Jim Kane keeps a copy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms on his wall as a reminder of the fight for human rights in Canada.
He's spent decades fighting for gay rights and has mixed emotions about the apology Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to make to LGBT people on Tuesday.
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"I already know that I'm going to cry, because it's an important step forward and it's long overdue," said Kane, tearing up in his Winnipeg apartment on Monday night.
Trudeau is expected to deliver a formal apology in the House of Commons on Tuesday for the persecution and injustices LGBT Canadians have faced.
The apology is so important to Kane, he paid for the cost of a plane ticket to Ottawa so he could hear Trudeau deliver it.
"I think it's long overdue."
Kane said he and his friends were treated unjustly by police decades ago due in part to a gross indecency section of the Criminal Code that was used to persecute gays before 1969, when homosexual acts between consenting adults were decriminalized.
"I was told not to be in that area because it was full of perverts, queers and gearboxes," Kane said.
"Later on I learned to get a badge number and report things like that if they happened."
Kane said Trudeau's apology is an important first step and he hopes others who were involved in persecuting gays will follow suit.
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He said it's the start of a healing process he hopes other gay elderly men will experience — he knows some with mental health issues because of the damage done over the years by internal homophobia.
"I know a lot of people that self-hate."