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This Is What Canada's New LGBTQ2 Special Adviser Is Facing In His New Role

The government has also moved to erase Canada's anal sex laws.

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Alberta MP Randy Boissonnault is now the LGBTQ2 special adviser to the prime minister, and he's starting the role with a very full plate.

Twitter: @JustinTrudeau

Boissonnault represents Edmonton Centre and is the first out-gay MP elected in Alberta. His new role is the first of its kind in federal politics.

The appointment from Justin Trudeau's office comes along with an announcement the government has introduced legislation to repeal Canada's anal sex laws.

Under section 159 of the Criminal Code, anal sex is only legal if it takes place between a husband and wife, or two consenting adults over the age of 18. It's also illegal if more than two people "take part or are present." The age of consent for other types of sex is 16.

Although homosexuality was decriminalized in Canada in the 1960s, the restrictions in section 159 have remained and long been called discriminatory.

"The offence disproportionately impacts on gay males, particularly 16- and 17-year-olds, who can lawfully consent to all other forms of non-exploitive sexual activity," said a statement from the government.

“I am proud to say that in moving to repeal Section 159 of the Criminal Code today, the Government is addressing an issue that has been of concern to the LGBTQ2 community for many years," said Boissonnault in a statement.

Deeply honoured to accept the appointment of Special Advisor to PM @JustinTrudeau on #LGBTQ2 issues. Offering a strong voice & an open ear.

Boissonnault met with a group of LGBTQ2 activists prior to Trudeau's announcement.

Was honoured to get to sit in a roundtable today with @R_Boissonnault and other advocates to discuss #lgbtq2 issues across the country.

But this is just day one. Daily Xtra reported that two lawyers have filed class-action lawsuits seeking damages for the hundreds of Canadians pushed out of the military and the civil service for being LGBTQ2.

The government announced in August that an apology was on its way for the men and women affected, but it's unclear whether that will include any compensation. Boissonnault has a mandate of three years to act on calls for reparations, Xtra reported.

These announcements, along with a trans rights bill that has passed its second reading, are part of the Trudeau government's push for "upholding the right of every individual in Canada to equal protection and equal benefit of the law, without discrimination."

Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS

But there's also been one major disappointment. The Liberals campaigned on a promise to end the ban on blood donations from men who've had sex with men within the last five years. In June, the restriction was dropped to one year, still effectively banning sexually active queer men.

Trudeau told Xtra he's "disappointed" the ban remains.

Lauren Strapagiel is Managing Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact Lauren Strapagiel at lauren.strapagiel@buzzfeed.com.

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