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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Canadian Defence Minister appears to be backtracking on restoring benefits to gay veterans who were dishonourably discharged

"After previously suggesting he would consider apologizing and restoring benefits to veterans who were dishonourably discharged from the military for being gay, Defence Minister Peter MacKay [pictured] appears to be backtracking," reports Xtra.ca.

"In a letter from former military reserve policeman Robin Anderson-Forbes, MacKay was asked if discharged gay veterans would receive apologies and restitution. Four months later, MacKay replied and suggested that it's impossible to retroactively change veteran's records."

"In his response, MacKay argued that military policies have always adhered to the Charter. Canada has allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military since 1992. MacKay also suggests that gay military personnel didn't actually receive 'dishonourable' discharges."

"Anderson-Forbes isn't buying any of it. 'Call it what you will, 'dismissal with disgrace', 'dishonourably discharged', 'service terminated' — they all mean the same thing," he says. 'And in this instance we’re referring to people who were convicted of homosexuality or a homosexual act, punished and then dismissed from the Canadian Forces.'" Read more at Xtra.ca.

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