Canada on Tuesday began expunging historic convictions for abortion or indecency — laws that are no longer on the books and have historically harmed women and members of the LGBTQ community.
The announcement builds on a 2018 law that sought to correct past injustices and created a path for individuals to clear their criminal records.
A year earlier, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau officially apologized for government policies and practices that led to oppression and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino told a press conference on Tuesday that “convictions under the Penal Code for lewd houses and for indecent offenses now qualify for expungement.”
“Historically, Canada has criminalized locations that were considered safe spaces for 2SLGBTQI+ communities, such as bathhouses, nightclubs and swingers clubs,” he said.
“And as a result, owners, employees and patrons of these venues were unfairly convicted under the Penal Code.”
Mendicino also announced that anyone convicted of offenses related to abortion will be eligible for expungement.
Canada’s Supreme Court lifted restrictions on abortion in 1988, while bawdy domestic offenses were repealed in 2019.
Applying for a removal order is free and relatives or trustees can apply on behalf of people who have died.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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