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Infographic: Gay Rights in Toronto

Timeline of Gay Rights in Toronto

A Timeline of Gay Rights in Toronto

1969

The Stonewall riots in New York City’s Greenwich Village spawn the modern gay rights movement. Canada decriminalizes homosexual acts for consenting adults over 21.

1971

Toronto’s first Gay Day Picnic is held at Hanlan’s Point. "We Demand," Canada’s first gay public protest, occurs in Ottawa.

1972

Coming Out, Canada’s first television series about LGBT issues, is aired by Maclean-Hunter’s cable community channel in Toronto.

1973

The American Psychiatric Association declares that homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder.

1976

The Lesbian Organization of Toronto is formed.

1978

Canada lifts an immigration ban on homosexual men.

1979

The Canadian Human Rights Commission recommends in its annual report that "sexual orientation" be added to the Canadian Human Rights Act. Buddies in Bad Times, Canada’s oldest surviving queer theatre company, is founded in Toronto.

1981

Four bathhouses are raided by the Toronto Police Service in Operation Soap, spawning protests that are now recognized as the first Toronto Pride event. George Hislop becomes the first openly gay person to run for Toronto City Council.

1982

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the "right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination" but does not explicitly protect sexual orientation.

1984

Pink Triangle Press launches the local LGBT newspaper Xtra! in Toronto.

1986

Toronto’s first Pride Committee is formed. Sexual orientation is included in Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

1988

The United Church of Canada becomes the first church in the country to allow the ordination of gays and lesbians.

1991

The City of Toronto officially proclaims Pride Day for the first time. Kyle Rae is elected the first openly gay member of the Toronto City Council.

1992

Canada lifts a ban on homosexuals in the Canadian Forces.

1995

Egan v. Canada rules that freedom from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation be a protected human right.

1996

The Toronto District School Board launches the Triangle Program, Canada’s first alternative high school program for at-risk LGBT youth. Bill C33 receives Royal Assent, formally adding sexual orientation to the Canadian Human Rights Act as a prohibited grounds of discrimination.

1999

George Smitherman becomes Ontario’s first openly gay MPP.

2001

PrideVision (now OUTtv) is launched by Headline Media, becoming the first LGBT-specific television channel in Canada and the second in the world.

2003

Ontario begins marrying same-sex couples.

2005

The Civil Marriage Act is passed, making Canada the fourth country in the world to officially sanction gay marriage at the national level. On the 25th anniversary of Toronto’s first Pride event, Bill Blair becomes the first chief of police in the city’s history to participate in the parade.

2007

103.9 Proud FM, Canada’s first-ever LGBT radio station and the first in the world operated by a commercial broadcaster, is launched in Toronto.

2013

Premier Kathleen Wynne becomes Canada’s first openly-gay first minister.

2014

Toronto hosts WorldPride.