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News: Commemorative Loonie Marks “50 Years of Progress” for LGBTQ2 in Canada

Photo Credits: (Screengrab from IN Magazine)

Toronto—The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled this week a commemorative loonie (a Canadian one-dollar coin) to mark “a key milestone for lesbian, gay, transgender, queer and two-spirited people, with the government saying the coin symbolized progress while highlighting the work that still needs to be done to advance equality,” Montreal Gazette reports. The coin was designed by Joe Average—a renowned artist based in Vancouver—and it featured two overlapping human faces enclosed in a large circle. The words “equality” and “égalité” were written on the coin as well as the years “1969” and “2019.”

It has been almost 50 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality on June 27, 1969 in Canada. The bill was introduced in 1967 by then-Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada Pierre Trudeau.

Historians, critics, and LGBTQ advocates alike however, are concerned that the commemorative coin “sends the wrong message” in that it “mistakenly suggests equality has been achieved, largely as a result of the federal government’s actions.” They said that even after the passage of the law, the “LGTBTQ2 people faced continued criminalization” citing examples like the bathhouse raids in various cities such as in Toronto and “continued harassment by law enforcement.” 


In an interview with the Montreal Gazette, York University historian Tom Hooper said that LGBTQ discrimination is still very much persistent today. Hooper pointed out that “trans and queer people of colour still face issues with policing and people with HIV remain subject to criminalization.” On the other hand, he said that the Equality coin is “at least fueling a public conversation about LGBTQ2 history.” Read the entire story here.

The Equality coin is being issued both as a regular $1 coin with 3 million in circulation and as a limited-edition $10 collector’s coin in full color. The latter is made with pure silver and only 15,000 coins are available for $49.95 each.


There are 6 comments

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  1. stephen jackson

    I still cannot understand why Marsha P Johnson is not recognized for her work as a leader in the Stone Wall Riots which gave birth to LGBTQ protesters and organizations

  2. Barry-NJ

    LGBTQ2? Don’t we have enough acronyms?

    I hate to be negative, especially since it isn’t my coin, but the design isn’t that attractive. Seems like they tried to pack too much into a small space.

  3. Hunter0500

    The response in this coin has revealed much. We’re told Canada is ever so LGTBQ-friendly. Many there have expressed the opposite in response to the coin. Who knew Canada had a large segment that was not LGTBQ-supportive? Further, the response from the LGTBQ itself has not supported the coin’s message. Who did the government consult with about that? A small activist group that didn’t represent Canada’s LGTBQ Community as a whole? Showing us, again, how well big government messes up just about everything it touches.

    Didn’t Canada notice how the US government fumbled both the $2 bill and Susan B. Anthony $1 coin? Those, not commemorative, are rarely seen in commerce. This coin is commemorative, a coin collector’s dream come true!

    • Erle

      I should think a issuing a stamp as a starting point would have been a more reasonable approach in checking the popularity of the issue. The Susan B. Anthony, as noted is a VERY unpopular coin. People resent the hell out of it, and avoid using it. Putting out something as ubiquitous as a coin without some kind of input from the populace makes a mockery of the democratic process. It tends to alienate not only those that don’t agree with the subject, but also those that feel that the design is unattractive, and/or that a group is being favored above others. I should think the Inuits will want a coin of their own, for example. Once we play identity politics, it becomes a me too phenomena, and just how many castings can a country produce without reducing currency confidence?


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