New Canadian one-dollar coin honouring LGBT rights to be unveiled

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      Update (April 23): The Royal Canadian Mint released the coin in a $1 version, as well as special collector's version, at an event held in Toronto

      The Royal Canadian Mint announced today (April 18) that it will hold an official unveiling of a new Canadian one-dollar coin that it describes as “recognizing 50 years of progress in the journey to equal rights for LGBTQ2 Canadians”.

      The event, to be held on April 23 at Toronto’s LGBT community centre The 519, will include attendance by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s LGBTQ2 advisor Randy Boissonault.

      The coin, which the Royal Canadian Mint claims in a news release is the “world's first circulation coin recognizing LGBTQ2 rights“, commemorates the date of decriminalization of same-sex sexual activity in the country in 1969, which was two years after then-justice minister Pierre Trudeau  made his often-quoted remark that  "there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation".

      Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the coin on December 14, 2018.

      CBC News has reported that the design will feature two overlapping faces within a large circle.

      The coin follows after the formal apology that Justin Trudeau delivered in 2017 to LGBT Canadians for past discrimination by the federal government. The apology addressed what was known as the Gay Purge, in which civil servants who were thought to be LGBT were targeted from the 1950s to 1990s.

      In June 2018, Historica Canada released its first Heritage Minute about Canadian LGBT history by focusing on pioneering gay-rights activist Jim Egan, whose fight for marriage equality failed but led to sexual orientation being protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights.

      In November 2018, the Bank of Canada released the first Canadian bank note to feature a Canadian woman: Nova Scotian civil-rights activist Viola Desmond who challenged racial segregation.