Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will posthumously pardon Everett George Klippert who was investigated by police in connection with an arson in the 1960’s and was deemed innocent but voluntarily admitted to having had consensual homosexual sex with four separate adult men. He was then arrested and charged with four counts of “gross indecency” and was deemed a dangerous sexual offender and sent to prison indefinitely for “preventive detention”.
“The prime minister intends to recommend that a pardon under the authority of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy be granted posthumously to Mr. Klippert,” Trudeau’s office said in a media release.
The move was cheered Sunday by gay-rights advocates. “It’s fantastic that he’ll get a posthumous pardon,” lawyer Doug Elliott told CBC News.
As well, the statement said the Liberal government will also look to see whether pardons are “warranted” after reviewing the cases of other individuals who in the past were convicted on charges such as gross indecency and buggery.
“As Canadians, we know that protecting and promoting fundamental human rights must be an imperative for governments and individuals alike, and this includes gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation,” the weekend statement said.
Trudeau’s office credited Klippert’s case for being “instrumental” in Canada’s decision to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults.
And Klippert was……..
Klippert appealed to the Court of Appeal for the Northwest Territories; his appeal was dismissed. He then appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada; his appeal was dismissed in a controversial 3-2 decision that sent many in the country into an uproar.
The day after Klippert’s conviction was upheld, New Democratic Party leader Tommy Douglas invoked Klippert’s name in the Canadian House of Commons, stating that homosexuality should not be considered a criminal issue. Within six weeks, Pierre Trudeau (Justin Trudeau’s father) presented the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69 ( an omnibus bill which decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults. The law passed, and homosexuality was decriminalized in Canada in 1969.
Klippert, however, remained in prison until July 21, 1971 when he was finally released.
Everett George Klippert lived 25 more years as a free, openly gay man before his death from kidney disease in 1996.