New gay rights coin divides LGBT community — and outrages social conservatives

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04/16/12019

A new dollar coin designed to commemorate 50 years of homosexual rights has sparked a dual backlash — from both members of Canada’s LGBT community and from a social conservative group. The loonie, to be launched April 23 at an invitation-only event in Toronto, will feature a stylized depiction of two overlapping human faces within a large circle, the dates 1969 and 2019, and the word “equality” in English and French. The Royal Canadian Mint is keeping tight-lipped on details until next week’s official reveal. York University historian Tom Hooper said the coin commemorates a “myth,” since the sweeping changes to the Criminal Code introduced in 1969 — which decriminalized sexual activity between men over the age of 21 in a private setting — were modest, and police and courts continued to criminalize same-sex relations afterward. “I feel like they’re putting this myth onto a coin. They’re stamping this coin with 1969 and right next to it ‘equality’ and there was nothing in 1969 to do with equality,” said Hooper, who studies the history of LGBT rights in Canada.

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