A Brief History of Canadian Pride

Lisa C. Community, Newcomer Information

June is Pride Month, in honour of the Stonewall Riots in the United States which happened on June 28, 1969. This event marked the beginning of the modern LGBTQ2S + Rights movement. Canada celebrates June as Pride Month too, but Canadian pride has its own history, struggles, milestones, and turning points.

On May 14, 1969, Canada decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults with the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act first introduced in December 1968. It receives royal assent on June 27. One day before the Stonewall Riots took place in New York.

Canada’s First Gay Liberation Protest and March happened on August 28, 1971, in Ottawa and Vancouver. Around 120 protesters participated in these events.

Sexual Orientation was not included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom until May 1995. In the same month, Ontario became the first province to allow same-sex couples to adopt. Soon, British Columbia, Alberta, and Nova Scotia followed suit. One year later on June 20, 1996, Sexual Orientation was included in Canadian Human Rights Act.

Canada became the 4th country in the world to allow same-sex marriage on July 20, 2005, after the federal Civil Marriage Act came into force. One to two years prior to the federal legalization, some Canadian provinces and territories had already legalized same-sex marriage, including Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, etc.

Word of the Day:

Assent: approval, agreement, acceptance