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May 14, 1969: Decriminalization of homosexuality 

Canada decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults with the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act first introduced in December 1968.

August 28, 1971: First Gay Rights Protest 

Roughly 100 people from Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and the surrounding areas gathered at Parliament Hill for Canada’s First Gay Liberation Protest and March. They presented a petition to the government with a list of ten demands for equal rights and protections.

February 5, 1981: Tipping Point: Operation Soap Police Raids 

Toronto police stormed four gay bathhouses in the city as part of what they called "Operation Soap," and arrested just under 300 men. Rallies were held in response to the injustice and to this day it is often referred to as Canada’s Stonewall. "Operation Soap" is one of the largest mass arrests in Canada.

May 19, 1999: Supreme Court Rules Same-sex Couples Have Rights to Equal Treatment 

The Supreme Court rules that the Ontario Family Law Act's definition of "spouse" as a person of the opposite sex is unconstitutional as was any provincial law that denies equal benefits to same-sex couples. 

June 28, 2002: Canada Extends Immigration Rights to Same-Sex Partners 

For the first time in Canadian immigration history, gay men and lesbians are able to formally sponsor their partners. On June 28, 2022, the IRPA and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations came into effect.

June 10, 2003: Ontario Legalizes Same-Sex Marriages 

Ontario’s Court of Appeal rules that the Canadian law on traditional marriage is unconstitutional. Ontario becomes the first jurisdiction in North America to do so and becomes the first city in North America to perform same-sex marriages. Michael Leshner and Michael Stark became the first same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license and marry in Toronto, Ontario after the ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeals.


June 27, 2009: Toronto's First Trans March 

The Trans March, originally started by Karah Mathiason began in response to Pride’s lack of organizing efforts for the Trans* Community.

Jun 19, 2017: Bill C-16: Canadian Human Rights Act expanded to Gender Identity & Expression Bill C-16 was passed by the federal government and received Royal Assent. The bill updated the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include the terms "gender identity" and "gender expression." 


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