The man whose imprisonment for being gay helped lead to the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada will be posthumously pardoned by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The CBC reports:
Trudeau intends to posthumously pardon Everett George Klippert who, because he admitted to police in the 1960s that he was gay, was deemed a dangerous sexual offender and sent to prison.
“The prime minister intends to recommend that a pardon under the authority of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy be granted posthumously to Mr. Klippert,” Trudeau’s office said in a media release.
The move was cheered Sunday by gay-rights advocates. “It’s fantastic that he’ll get a posthumous pardon,” lawyer Doug Elliott told CBC News.
As well, the statement said the Liberal government will also look to see whether pardons are “warranted” after reviewing the cases of other individuals who in the past were convicted on charges such as gross indecency and buggery.
“As Canadians, we know that protecting and promoting fundamental human rights must be an imperative for governments and individuals alike, and this includes gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation,” the weekend statement said.
Trudeau’s office credited Klippert’s case for being “instrumental” in Canada’s decision to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults.
Klippert spent four years in prison after a government doctor diagnosed his homosexuality as “incurable” and therefore classified him as a “dangerous sexual offender.” His release actually came two years after Canada had decriminalized gay sex. He died in 1996 at the age of 69. (Tipped by JMG reader Sashine)
RELATED: Last week it was announced that Trudeau will become the first sitting Prime Minister to take part in a gay pride event when he marches in Toronto’s parade this June.