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Module 34

Queering Canada: Gay and Lesbian Political and Social Activism, 1969-1982

Matthew Hayday

In 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.  However, less than four decades earlier, most forms of same-sex intercourse were illegal in Canada under the Criminal Code.  Changes to how Canadians and their governments responded to questions of sexual orientation were only obtained with great difficulty and persistence on the part of activists.  This module covers the first major phase of Canadian gay and lesbian activism which covers the years that led up to the creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982.  It looks at the strategies employed by activists who were seeking both legal and social change, and examines the responses that they engendered in Canadian society.

Primary sources:

  1. Document:  We Demand.  The August 28th Gay Day Committee
  2. Document: A Strategy for Gay Liberation.  Brian Waite
  3. Document – Defining Lesbian and Gay Liberation.  Tom Warner
  4. Photo:  “Kiss-In” Protest
  5. Document:  We need our own banner.  Marie Robertson
  6. Document:  Gay men and lesbians can work together.  Chris Bearchell
  7. Document: Police raid The Body Politic office Paul Aboud
  8. Photo:  Bathhouse raid
  9. Document:  Protest against Police Violence

Secondary sources:

  1. Mariam Smith.  ‘Before the Charter:  Lesbian and Gay Rights in Canada’
  2. Tom Warner.  ‘Police Repression and Judicial Homophobia’
  3. Becki Ross.  ‘Coalition Politics:  Lesbian feminists meet gay liberationists’

Introduction

List of Modules -- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50