Canada’s police chiefs apologize for opposition to decriminalize homosexuality

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12/11/2020

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) has apologized for its historical mistreatment of LGBTQ communities in Canada. In a video message CACP president Bryan Larkin, who is Chief of the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS), noted that the association publicly opposed changes to the Criminal Code in the late 1960s that decriminalized homosexuality. In the years that followed, Canadian police continued to harass and persecute diverse communities. “Our decisions and actions legitimized attitudes and beliefs that were discriminatory,” said Larkin. “We take responsibility for our past wrongdoings, and on behalf of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, I am sorry.” Even after homosexuality was decriminalized, Larkin said police targeted LGBTQ Canadians. Police raided gay bars and bath houses, where many people were charged simply for being present. Police officers have been themselves been forced to hide their sexuality and live double lives to avoid persecution, violence and job loss, Larkin said.

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