August 14, 2016 at 8:26 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Justin Trudeau marches in Montreal Pride parade

Justin Trudeau, gay news, Washington Blade

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marches in Montreal’s annual Pride parade on Aug. 14, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Trudeau’s office)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday marched in Montreal’s annual Pride parade.

“I am proud to be the first prime minister to participate in the #FiertéMTL parade,” he wrote on his Twitter page in French, referring to the Pride’s hashtag.

A gay Syrian man who received refugee status in Canada was the grand marshal of last month’s Vancouver Pride Parade in which Trudeau and his family marched. The Canadian prime minister marched alongside Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is a lesbian, in Toronto’s annual Pride parade that took place on July 3.

Trudeau marched in the Montreal Pride parade three days after the Globe and Mail, a Toronto newspaper, reported his government plans to apologize to gay Canadians who suffered discrimination because of their sexual orientation. This apology will reportedly include those who were convicted of “gross indecency” before the government of Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, decriminalized consensual same-sex sexual relations in 1969.

“This is a long-awaited moment and a very emotional moment, to be honest,” said Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale, a Canadian LGBT advocacy group, in a statement the Globe and Mail published. “For the government to recognize the damage that it caused, the harm that it caused, to thousands and thousands of Canadians is a historic moment for our communities.”

The Canadian government has not responded to the Washington Blade’s request for comment on the apology.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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