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Pink Triangle Press was charged with “possession of obscene material for the purpose of distribution” in response to an article on pederasty titled “Men Loving Boys Loving Men.” The case was finally resolved in 1983, when the Crown declined to appeal a second acquittal.

Thomas Mercer, the judge in the second trial, ruled that the article “does, in fact, advocate pedophilia,” but stated, “It is perfectly legal to advocate what in itself would be unacceptable to most Canadians.” The late 1970s also saw two major legislative changes.

Beginning in 1890, accused gays were usually charged with the crime of “gross indecency.” Amendments to the criminal code were made in 19, which further criminalized homosexuality through the invented categories of “criminal sexual psychopath” and “dangerous sexual offender.” (The definition of the latter was anyone “who is likely to commit another sexual offence,” thus criminalizing any gay person who was not celibate.) Two important events precipitated the liberalization of Canadian laws and attitudes in the late 1960s.

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The 1981 raids led to the establishment of Lesbian and Gay Pride Day in Toronto, which attracted 1,500 participants that same year.

(The City of Toronto did not endorse Pride until 1991.) Since then, Pride has been held annually in Toronto and several cities across the country.

Dating from the early colonial era, homosexuality was officially illegal and the penalty for “the abominable act of buggery” (also known as sodomy) was punishable by death.

In 1861, that law was moderated slightly, when the sentence became imprisonment for a period of 10 years to life.

Learn about the issues from someone who has lived the experience Learn more about gays and lesbians across the country who are taking advantage of the benefits of same-sex rights legislation in the United States.

Britain held immense sway over Canadian policy throughout the many years in which homosexuality was criminalized.

It was not until 1998, however, that the definitive word on provincial human rights was written.

In that year, the Supreme Court ruled that Alberta's human rights legislation must be considered to cover sexual orientation.

The men were charged with being “found-ins” in a bawdy-house, which police defined as being any location where “indecent acts” took place. Such raids continued over the next 20 years in Canada, including a 2002 raid on a , where the relationship with police was particularly fraught, the raids culminated in a police sweep of the Pussy Palace, a women-only event, in 2000.

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