The History of Gay Rights
LGBT rights in Canada
Today, Canada is one of the most advanced country in the legalization of gay acts and the gain of gay rights. In fact, Canada is one of the few countries where consensual sex, marriage and adoption are legalized and where discrimination in workplace and hate crime are forbidden by the law. However, it hasn't always been like this. In fact, before 1960s, most of the rights homosexuals have acquired today didn't exist. Gay men could be arrested and put in jail for the simple fact of being a homosexual. They were then accused of “gross indecency” and were labelled as “dangerous sexual offenders”. This was the case of George Klippert, a homosexual man who was arrested and condemned of an indefinite period. This arrestation is one important event for homosexuals as it helped them legalize consensual sex between consenting adults. After his arrestation, Klippert made an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada and was dismissed. This rose controversy in the media and encouraged Pierre Elliott Trudeau, minister of Justice at the time, to propose amendments to the Criminal Code. In the reform following this proposition, in 1969, homosexuality was finally decriminalized. In 1977, the province of Quebec makes discrimination towards homosexuals in housing, work and public accomodation illegal by including sexual orientation in the Human Rights Code. Many provinces follow Quebec's lead. Slowly, more and more rights were given to the homosexuals, people started making public coming outs and finally, in 2005, gay marriage was legalized. Over the past years, Canada set an example for the rest of the world, and some countries followed its step toward equality for homosexuals. However, in many countries, homosexuality is still illegal and is even punishable by death, which is why raising awareness on this issue is important.
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