Lawyer Doug Elliott, the lead for the plaintiffs in the LGBT purge class action lawsuit, chats outside the courtroom in the Federal Court of Canada in Ottawa, on June 18, 2018. (David Kawai/The Canadian Press)

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

A federal judge has approved a landmark deal to compensate members of the military and other agencies who were investigated and sometimes fired because of their sexual orientation.

Cheers of joy and celebratory hugs greeted the decision of Federal Court Justice Martine St-Louis after hours of testimony today from class action members.

READ MORE: Trudeau apologizes for decades of LGBTQ discrimination by federal agencies

Gay military veterans told St-Louis they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality.

Sobbing could be heard from onlookers as a steady stream of men and women took turns at a microphone to lament how being gay or lesbian made them enemies of their own country.

An agreement in principle in the court action was drafted last November, just days before the government delivered a sweeping apology for decades of discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community.

The final settlement includes at least $50 million and up to $110 million in total compensation, with eligible individuals each expected to receive between $5,000 and $175,000.

The Canadian Press


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