In 2019, the Royal Canadian Mint will be releasing a redesigned loonie to celebrate the decriminalization of homosexuality, reports CBC.
In 1969, homosexual activity between consenting adults was decriminalized after previous justice minister Pierre Trudeau introduced amendments to the Canadian Criminal Code, "there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation." Pierre's son, current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian government approved the new design.
However, the design will not be shown nor will the artist's name will be released until it is unveiled next year, as to "maximize the impact." However, a cabinet order described the design as a "stylized rendering of two overlapping human faces within a large circle, the left half of the left face in front view and the right face in profile facing left, the two faces forming one whole face in front view composed of two eyes with eyebrows, a nose, a mouth and two ears with a small hoop earring on the left ear." The years 1969 and 2019, as well as the word "equality" in both English and French, will be printed on the coin.
This new design came about after the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act was announced, which allows people who were found guilty of performing homosexual acts, to apply for the permanent removal of those criminal records, which affects approximately 9,000 people.
Alex Reeves, the Mint spokesman said that two LGBT groups were sought out during the planning for the coin. The two groups are Egale Canada, which is based in Toronto, and the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD), based in Ottawa. The spokesman for CCGSD, Cameron Aitken, took issue with saying that homosexual activity was decriminalized in 1969, as the term "consenting adults" only applied to people aged 21 and over. He commented that many people were still arrested.
As an American, sadly I will probably never be in possession of this coin and as a person who likes the way that Canadian currency looks, I would really like to. Regardless, I think that this is a nice way to celebrate equality, as I'm sure many people will get these coins. However, it is important to remember that the partial decriminalization happened only half a century ago, and, relatively speaking, that is a short period of time. But the decriminalization was definitely a good thing.