LGBT Purge Fund establishes initiatives at McGill Law to promote 2SLGBTQ+ justice

Published: 7 June 2022

The McGill University Faculty of Law and the LGBT Purge Fund are pleased to announce the creation of an experiential learning award and a research fellowship for law students. Supported by a $250,000 grant from the LGBT Purge Fund, both initiatives will promote student engagement towards 2SLGBTQ+ justice.  

Starting in 2022-2023, the LGBT Purge Fund Experiential Learning Award will support learning experiences related to 2SLGBTQ+ rights. It will be granted annually by the Faculty of Law to one or more students in the BCL/JD or graduate programs to enable them to pursue opportunities such as internships or research projects related to 2SLGBTQ+ justice. The LGBT Purge Fund Fellowship will be awarded annually by the Faculty of Law to one or more outstanding BCL/JD or graduate student whose research is focused on 2SLGBTQ+ rights, with preference to students facing systemic barriers to education.  

"The LGBT Purge Fund is delighted to make this significant grant of $250,000 to the McGill University Faculty of Law. This grant is part of our work of reconciliation and the memorialization of a shameful period in Canadian history that was based on state-sponsored discrimination and oppressive policies against 2SLGBTQ+ people,” said Michelle Douglas, Executive Director of the LGBT Purge Fund and LGBT Purge survivor. “We are inspired by the scholarship and action that will emerge from these fellowships and experiential learning opportunities. By learning about our history, law students can help better shape our future."

“This grant from the LGBT Purge Fund will increase knowledge and, through its recipients, build capacity in relation to matters affecting our 2SLGBTQ+ communities,” said Dean Robert Leckey. “Coming on the heels of IMK LLP’s creation of the Michelle Douglas Lecture and the Martine Roy Student Colloquium, and the establishment of our Everett Klippert Scholarship, this grant confirms the stature of McGill Law as an extraordinarily exciting place for students committed to justice for minorities of sexual orientation and gender identity." 


About the LGBT Purge Fund  

Between the 1950s and mid-1990s, 2SLGBTQ+ members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP and the federal public service were systematically discriminated against, harassed, and often fired as a matter of policy and sanctioned practice.  In what came to be known as the “LGBT Purge”, an estimated 9,000 lives were devastated over those years, and the irreparable psychological trauma continues to this day.   

In 2016, survivors of the LGBT Purge launched a nation-wide class action lawsuit against the Canadian government. A historic settlement was reached in June 2018. It included a global settlement amount of $145 million. The settlement allocated between $15 and $25 million for “reconciliation and memorialization measures.” These funds symbolically represent compensation for the suffering of victims of the LGBT Purge who did not live long enough to be eligible to receive individual compensation under the LGBT Purge settlement.  

Learn more about the LGBT Purge


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