Today, The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a new $1 coin that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the "first step toward decriminalizing homosexuality."
“The Equality coin encourages all of us to build a better, more inclusive Canada, because like the coin itself, the more equality we have in Canada, the richer we all are,” said Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, awkwardly.
The coin features artwork by Canadian artist Joe Average.
According to the Canadian Mint, this is the first official coin in the world that commemorates LGBTQ2 rights.
TL;DR Canadians are criticizing the new coin for its design and purpose to commemorate the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.
Many have expressed their excitement about the new coin.
Many others, however, have been quick to criticize it.
Much of the backlash comes from homophobes in Canada — to whom we say HA! But other Canadians have raised valid points about the design and intention behind the coin.
While some consider the coin ugly, others question the commemoration of an event that had little bearing on the lived experience of queer people in Canada. In fact, queer people continue to struggle for acceptance in a country that is considered among the most tolerant in the world.
The coin, many argue, suggests that the fight for queer rights has come to a triumphant end — that it's a past accomplishment to celebrate rather than an ongoing struggle.
Many have also pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of celebrating queer acceptance while, in many circumstances, queer people are still not allowed to give blood in Canada.
Others questions the government's motives for introducing the new coin.
Read some Canadians' reactions below.
A lot of people simply don't like the new design.
Some Conservatives raised the valid point that the coin is merely a gesture devoid of substantial policy change.
Others have noticed a perhaps troubling pattern:
Little actually changed in 1969.
It was a bare minimum accomplishment.
Many are rightfully confused about what the coin actually depicts. In the artist's effort to be inclusive, the specific meaning of the depiction is perhaps lost.
And, in sum:
What do you think of the new coin?