Article Title:Canada: The Klippert Legacy
Category:Comment
Author or Credit:Craig Young
Published on:16th March 2016 - 04:30 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
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Story ID:18054
Text:Although New Zealand is refusing to revisit the issue of historic gay 'offenses', Canada is doing so. The Trudeau Liberal administration recently announced that it will review hundreds of cases of consensual gay anal sex ("buggery") and non-anal sex ("gross indecency"). Unlike New Zealand where the relevant Section of the Crimes Act 1961 was expanded to encompass non-anal gay sex in the early sixties but remained a single statute clause, in Canada they were two separate 'offences' until Canada decriminalised gay sex altogether in 1969. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced that he will invoke a posthumous 'Royal Prerogative of Mercy" and retrospectively pardon Everett George Klippert (1928-1996). In 1960, Klippert was convicted on eighteen counts of 'gross indecency' and spent four years imprisoned in Alberta for having consensual adult non-anal gay sex with other men. In 1965, he was convicted in the Northwest Territory on four additional 'gross indecency' charges and was imprisoned for an additional three years. The Crown applied to have Klippert designated a 'dangerous sexual offender,' despite the fact that the sex was consensual and involved adults. Moreover, in 1967, the Canadian Supreme Court (3-2) upheld his life sentence, despite psychiatric evidence that he was not a pedophile and had not raped any of the men. Fortunately, then-Liberal Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau then decided that enough was enough and introduced a decriminalisation bill and in 1969, after Pierre Trudeau became Prime Minister, a similar bill was finally passed, albeit along the lines of the United Kingdom's Sexual Offences Act 1967, with restrictions on multiple sexual partners, and a grossly unequal gay male age of consent at twenty one. However, despite decriminalisation, Klippert wasn't finally released on parole until 1971, having spent a decade imprisoned for a victimless 'crime.' After his release, Klippert moved to Edmonton to work as a truckdriver and died of cancer at 69, in 1996. Although Justin Trudeau's move has been applauded within Canadian LGBT communities, former Canadian gay academic Gary Kinsman wants him and his Liberal administration to go further, extending it to unjustly sacked lesbian and gay employees of the Canadian public service sacked for 'national security' offences solely due to their sexual identities in the 1950s and 1960s during the height of the Cold War. Canada's "We Demand An Apology Network" responds to the surveillance of 'suspected' lesbians and gay men within the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian armed forces and public service occupations. If one was caught up within this net, one could be sacked and/or denied security clearances, which could prove to be an added stigma in other contexts than national security and intelligence circles. Supposedly, lesbian or gay sexuality 'led' to 'character weakness' which "justified" intensive surveillance, interrogation, threats, harassment and forced demotion or expulsion. Apart from the armed forces and intelligence services, it involved public service jobs that had little to do with 'national security' such as the Canadian Post Office, Department of Central Mortgages and Housing, Department of Health and Welfare, Department of Public Work, Unemployment Assistance, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the National Farm Bureau. For five years, the Canadian federal government (1962-1967) actually funded research into a 'fruit machine'- a device that was supposed to be based on the polygraph or lie detector, but focused on uncovering closeted lesbians and gay men. Military service discrimination continued until the passage of federal and provincial antidiscrimination legal protections and official end of armed service discrimination in the early nineties, while the other forms had been abandoned during the late seventies and early eighties. Kinsman's does raise some interesting questions about equivalent internal pogroms within New Zealand government departments during the same period. If those did occur, should we therefore expand the scope of our own lobbying for the elimination of historic public records that deal with male homosexuality and lesbianism from criminal records to any such instances of public service discrimination and expulsion in our own past? Recommended: John Ibbotson: "Trudeau to urge pardon for man deemed a 'dangerous sexual offender' for being gay in the 1960s"Globe and Mail:28.02.2016:http://www. theglobeandmail.com/news/ politics/ottawa-to-consider- pardon-for-gay-men-convicted- under-pre-1969laws/ / Klippert Versus the Queen (1967)https://scc-csc.lexum. com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/ 4738/inde x.do Gary Kinsman:The Regulation of Desire: Sexuality in Canada:Montreal: Black Rose Books: 1987 Gary Kinsman:Canada's War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation: Vancouver: University of British Columbia: 2009. Arshy Mann: "Gay fired public servants want more than pardons"Xtra Canada: 04.03.2016:http://www. dailyxtra.com/ canada/news-and-ideas/news/ gay-fired-canadian-public- servants-want-pardons-187147 Emily Pacquett: "The Canadian War on Queers": Red Files: 01.03.2012:https://redfile. wordpre ss.com/2012/03/01/the- canadian-war-on-queers/ We Demand An Apology Network: http://p-sec.org/we-demand- an-apology/ Craig Young - 16th March 2016    
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