Lawsuit against Forces Alleges Discrimination against Gays and Lesbians

By Tutton, Michael | The Canadian Press, December 8, 2016 | Go to article overview

Lawsuit against Forces Alleges Discrimination against Gays and Lesbians


Tutton, Michael, The Canadian Press


Lawsuit alleges harassment of gays in Forces

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HALIFAX - A former Canadian Forces member who says a series of aggressive investigations into her sexual orientation hounded her out of the military in the late 1980s is leading a class action lawsuit against Ottawa.

Alida Satalic's lawsuit, submitted on Tuesday, spans the years 1969 to 1995 and applies to anyone who served in Atlantic Canada.

Lawyer John McKiggan says in the statement of claim, which has not been proven in court, that between the 1950s and 1990s the Canadian government engaged in a campaign to identify, harass and purge lesbians and gays from the Armed Forces.

It names Satalic as the representative plaintiff in the class action, saying the lesbian former postal clerk was mistreated and harassed while she was serving her country.

It says she was repeatedly interrogated by investigation units on the pretext of security screenings, and was asked about her sexual relationships in detail.

The claim says she dropped out of the military as a corporal in 1989 after learning she had no career prospects, re-enrolled in 1993 and then left again years later.

According to court documents, Satalic joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1981 at Canadian Forces Base Cornwallis in Deep Brook, N.S., and served at three bases.

It says after she told investigators about her sexual orientation, Satalic was given the option of staying in the military with no further training or promotions, or a release from service as "Not Advantageously Employable. …

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