The ArQuives Digital Exhibitions

Browse Exhibits (2 total)

1971 We Demand March

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The We Demand March of August 1971 was the first recorded political action taken by LGBTQ2+ activists in Canada. The march coincided with the second anniversary of the passing of Bill C-150 which decriminalized homosexual acts in Canada between men over the age of consent.

Although the reform of the 1969 Criminal Code led to the decriminalization of certain homosexual acts, it did not have much tangible impact on the policing and surveillance of queers. 

The We Demand document drafted by David Newcome and Herb Spiers and was read out under the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa by Charlie Hill and consisted of calls for changes to the law and public policy regarding gay and lesbian rights.

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Jim Egan: Canada's First Public LGBTQ Activist

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James Egan was one of the earliest LGBTQ2+ rights activists in Canada. He is best known for his landmark Supreme Court Case, Egan v. Canada. Although he was defeated in this case, his fight for spousal benefits spurred the Supreme Court to add sexual orientation as prohibited grounds of discrimination to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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