In his keynote speech to the gay rights activist group Egale Canada Thursday night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wants to lift all restrictions that stop sexually-active homosexual men from being blood or organ donors.
Trudeau, who was at the Egale Identity Gala in Toronto to pick up the organization’s first “leadership award,” told the crowd that was concerned that gay men are still screened as a high-risk group in the interest of public safety, the Canadian Press reported.
“Yes, we’re working on it, but I’m upset too that it’s not there yet,” he told the cheering crowd.
“Our entire government is committed to full equality for the queer community. You have my word on that.”
Trudeau rarely misses the gay pride parades that are hosted by Canada’s largest cities. He apologized to the LGBTQ community in the House of Commons for government policies that once viewed homosexuals in the public service as security risks. His Liberal government is in the middle of voluntarily compensating those who say their careers were impaired or ended because of their sexuality. The claims could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.
The prime minister reiterated his desire to expand gay and lesbian rights while ensuring gender neutrality: Canada recently passed legislation identifies some forms of gender-specific languages as hate speech.
“I am on your side, I will fight for you, and I will fight with you.”
Trudeau told the audience that he actually told his children not to attend school last November when the prime minister issued his tear-laden apology. “Ella and Xav watched their dad stand on the floor of the House of Commons, surrounded y colleagues, and promise that we as a nation will do better.”
Calling the apology “an incredible day that I will never forget,” Trudeau described himself as “deeply privileged to be a part of this larger moment.”