Everett George Klippert was the last person to be imprisoned for homosexuality in Canada. In 1960, he is given four years in jail on eighteen counts of ‘gross indecency’. He is arrested again in 1965, this time on four counts of ‘gross indecency’, which he appealed to both the North West Territories provincial court and then the Supreme Court of Canada, which upheld the sentence on November 7, 1967.
The controversial decision directly leads to legislation led by Pierre Elliott Trudeau to decriminalize consensual gay sex acts between two people in private. He famously says to the press, "There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation."
The Criminal Law Amendment Act (Bill C-150), an omnibus bill that, among other things, decriminalizes gay sex, passes and comes in effect on August 26, 1969, however, Klippert remains in jail for another two years, finally released in July 21, 1971.
When the bill passes, many people in the queer community feel it has a personal effect for them, finally feeling legitimate in the eyes of the law. For others, particularly those with a more political/activist bent, the fact that gay sex was decriminalized didn’t affect them much, as there were still so many other rights left to fight for.
Bill C-150, and the Stonewall riots in New York City the same year, help marking the beginning of change as our community stands up for their liberation from oppression at long last.
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