From the 1950s to the late 1990s, agents of the state spied on, interrogated, and harassed gays and lesbians in Canada, employing social ideologies and other practices to construct their target -- people who deviated from the so-called norm -- as threats to society and enemies of the state.
Reconstructed from official security regime documents released through the Access to Information Act and interviews with gays, lesbians, civil servants, and high-ranking officials, The Canadian War on Queers offers a passionate, personalized account of a national security campaign that violated people's civil rights and freedoms in an attempt to regulate their sexual practices. Gary Kinsman and Patrizia Gentile disclose not only the acts of state repression that accompanied the Canadian war on queers but also forms of resistance that raise questions about just whose security was being protected and about national security as an ideological practice.
This path-breaking account of how the state used national security to wage war on its own people offers ways of understanding, and resisting, contemporary ideological conflicts such as the "war on terror." It is required reading for students, scholars, and social activists in lesbian, gay, and queer studies or anyone interested in the issues of national security, state repression, and human rights.