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1969-1979

1969-1979

1969

During the final weekend in June, drag queens and queer street kids riot at the Stonewall Inn, in New York City.

In Canada on August 28, the federal government decriminalizes homosexual acts for consenting adults over 21, under then-Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau. Trudeau utters his famous "the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation" statement.

1970

The picnic is organized by Toronto's first queer activist organizations - the University of Toronto Homophile Association (UHTA), Toronto Gay Action Now, and the Community Homophile Association of Toronto (CHAT).

On the 28th of that month, under police watch, the first gay demonstration in Ottawa takes place. 100 activists attend.

1971

Toronto's first "Gay Day Picnic" is held at Hanlan's Point on Sunday, August 1st, as a fundraiser to send activists to Ottawa for a 2nd anniversary march marking decriminalization.

1972

On July 9th, the second annual Gay Picnic is held as part of a series of events for the first Gay Pride Week. The week includes a festival, film night, Pride Dance, a rally and a march to Queen's Park. Activists present a brief to the Ontario government.

1973

Pride Week is August 17th-26th. The organizers ask Mayor David Crombie to recognize the event, but are turned down. Permission to march on Yonge Street is also denied.

1974

Pride Week is August 17th-24th and includes another Pride Picnic on Ward's Island, a theatre night and church service at Metropolitan Community Church.

More than 100 people march from Allan Gardens to Queen's Park in an effort to include sexual orientation in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The mainstream press reports on the events for the first time. The Globe and Mail misreports the numbers of those involved and the mood of the event, characterizing the marchers as "beating a hasty retreat".

1975

No organized Pride events took place.

1976

No organized Pride events take place, but the Fourth Annual Gay Conference for Canada and Quebec is held in Toronto.

1977

No organized events; Anita Bryant declares her war on homosexuality. Teenager Emmanual Jacques is raped and murdered above Yonge Street, and a strong backlash is levelled against the Toronto gay community.

1978

From August 24th-27th, GAYDAYS: In Celebration of Lesbians and Gay Men, is held. This was the first year Pride Day was celebrated at Cawthra Park, with ceremonies on the steps of the 519 Community Centre and a beer garden in the park.

Some speakers generate controversy by supporting intergenerational sex and S/M. A PrideFair is also held at Queen's Park.

1979

No organized Pride events took place.

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