Queer History of Sault Ste. Marie & CanadaQueer History of Sault Ste. Marie & Canada

LGBT history in Canada


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a timeline of notable events in the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Canada.

19th Century

1810: Alexander Wood, a merchant and magistrate in Toronto, is embroiled in a sex scandal when he investigates a rape case by personally inspecting the penises of the suspected assailants for a scratch left by the woman who filed the rape charge.

1838: George Herchmer Markland, a member of the Legislative Council of Upper Canada, is forced to resign his seat after facing allegations of making sexual advances towards other men.

1842: Patrick Kelly and Samuel Moore, the first two men in Canada historically recorded as having been criminally convicted of sodomy for what the court records clearly describe as consensual sexual activity, arrive at Kingston Penitentiary. Both men were sentenced to death, although their sentences are commuted on August 22; Moore is released from prison in 1849 and Kelly is released in 1853.


1918 Montreal writers Elsa Gidlow and Roswell George Mills launch Les Mouches Fantastiques, a mimeographed underground magazine which is the first known LGBT publication in Canadian, and possibly North American, history. At least five issues are published before Mills and Gidlow move to New York City in the early 1920s.

1943 In the Montreal literary magazine First Statement, John Sutherland publishes a review of the poetry of Patrick Anderson, intuiting homoerotic themes and accusing Anderson of “some sexual experience of a kind not normal”. Although Anderson would in fact come out as gay later in life, he was married to a woman at the time; he threatened to sue, and First Statement printed a retraction in its following issue.


Jim Egan, a Toronto native who would later become a co-plaintiff in Egan v. Canada, begins writing letters to newspapers and magazines protesting depictions of homosexuality and calling for reform of laws regarding homosexual Canadian. He writes his letters until 1964, when he and his partner move to British Columbia.

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The RCMP, throughout the late 1950s and the entirety of the 1960s, kept tabs on homosexuals and the patrons of gay bars in Ottawa and other cities. The force also worked with the FBI’s own surveillance of homosexuals and alerted the FBI when a suspected homosexual had crossed the border to the United States.


The RCMP Directorate of Security and Intelligence’s A-3 Unit (a unit dedicated to rooting out and removing all homosexuals from government and law enforcement, itself a subsection of the A Unit dedicated to finding out character flaws in government employees in the aftermath of the Second Red Scare) produced a map of Ottawa replete with red dots marking all alleged residences and frequent visitations of homosexuals. However, the map was soon filled with red ink and was disposed, and after two larger maps of the city being used to a similar purpose and outcome, the mapping soon ended.


Canada sees its first gay-positive organization, ASK, and first gay magazines: ASK Newsletter (in Vancouver), and Gay (by Gay Publishing Company of Toronto). Gay was the first periodical to use the term ‘Gay’ in the title and expanded quickly, including outstripping the distribution of American publications under the name Gay International. These were quickly followed by Two (by Gayboy (later Kamp) Publishing Company of Toronto).


Winter Kept Us Warm, a gay-themed independent film by David Secter, becomes the first English Canadian film to be given a screening at the Cannes Film Festival.

Poet Edward A. Lacey publishes The Forms of Life, credited as the first volume of openly gay-identified poetry in Canadian literature.

George Klippert, the last person in Canada ever to be imprisoned for homosexuality before its legalization in 1969, is arrested and charged with four counts of “gross indecency” after admitting to a police investigator that he had consensual sex with men.


Writer Scott Symons publishes Place d’Armes, one of the first notable gay novels in Canadian literary history.


December 21: Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau introduces an omnibus bill reforming the Criminal Code of Canada, which liberalizes Canadian law around social issues such as homosexuality, abortion and divorce. Trudeau’s characterization was captured in the statement that there was “no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”


May 14: Canada decriminalizes homosexual acts between consenting adults with the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69. It receives royal assent on June 27.

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1971 August 28: We Demand, Canada’s first gay public protest, occurs in Ottawa on Parliament Hill.

November 1: The Body Politic begins publishing.


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


The Canadian Gay Liberation Movement Archives are launched.


January 5: The Brunswick Four are arrested at the Brunswick Tavern in Toronto.


Police crackdowns against gay bars in Montreal’s Stanley Street gay village, widely perceived as mayor Jean Drapeau’s attempts to “clean up” the city in advance of the 1976 Summer Olympics, lead to riots.

October: The Lesbian Organization of Toronto is formed.


August: Toronto residents learn of the sexual assault and murder of the boy Emanuel Jaques by three men.

October: Two gay establishments in Montreal, Mystique and Truxx, are raided. A protest organized the next day attracts 2,000 participants. By December, the province of Quebec becomes the second jurisdiction in the world, behind only Denmark, to pass a law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

November: The Body Politic publishes Gerald Hannon’s article “Men Loving Boys Loving Men”, resulting in a five-year legal battle over whether the magazine was guilty of publishing “immoral, indecent or scurrilous material”.


Buddies in Bad Times, Canada’s oldest surviving theatre company dedicated to LGBT theatre, is launched by Matt Walsh, Jerry Ciccoritti, and Sky Gilbert.

1979 May 10: In the British Columbia provincial election, Robert Douglas Cook becomes Canada’s first openly gay political candidate. He garners 126 votes in West Vancouver-Howe Sound as a candidate of the Gay Alliance Toward Equality.

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1981 February 5: Four bathhouses in Toronto are raided by the Toronto Police Service in Operation Soap. The event is now considered one of the crucial turning points in Canadian LGBT history, as an unprecedented community mobilization — now regarded as the Canadian equivalent of the 1969 Stonewall riots — took place to protest police conduct. One of the protest marches during this mobilization is now generally recognized as the first Toronto Pride event.

February 11: As part of the continuing series of protests against Operation Soap, gay activist George Hislop announces that he will run as an independent protest candidate in the riding of St. George in the 1981 provincial election, becoming the province’s first openly gay political candidate and only the second in Canadian history following Robert Douglas Cook.

May 30: Pisces Health Spa in Edmonton, Alberta is raided by the City of Edmonton Police after a lengthly undercover investigation by the then called Morality Control Unit. Many of the 56 men police arrested eventually pleaded guilty, despite the fact that there was no evidence to suggest prostitutes were working in the spa, nor that minors were enticed to enter. Undercover police officers had acted as patrons of the Pisces Health Spa. A letter written by then Morality Control Unit Staff Sgt. J.W. Torgerson stated “For policemen…to associate with members of the ‘gay’ community on equal basis is worthy of note. Not only did they associate with these individuals, but also were subjected to sexual advances as well as observing personally revolting acts such as fellation and anal intercourse between males, (and)lastly, being recognized and treated as a gay person by members of the spa”.

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1982 – Demographic and economic changes begin to shift Montreal’s gay village from rue Stanley to rue Sainte-Catherine.

April 20:
The Back Door Gym, one of the establishments raided in 1981, is raided again. This raid is protested on April 23. No further bathhouse raids take place in the 1980s. The warrant used in this raid was declared invalid by the courts on October 3, 1984.

July 23: A firebombing attack on Henry Morgentaler’s abortion clinic in Toronto also results in significant damage to the Toronto Women’s Bookstore, one of Canada’s most important venues for feminist and lesbian literature.

1984 – March: Pink Triangle Press, the publisher of The Body Politic, launches the local LGBT newspaper Xtra! in Toronto.

Pink Triangle Services, the first GLBTTQ-specific charity, is incorporated in Ottawa.


June: Kenneth Zeller is murdered in Toronto’s High Park, a hate crime which spurs the Toronto District School Board, Zeller’s employer, to implement one of Canada’s first programs to combat anti-gay discrimination and violence.

1987 – Pink Triangle Press ceases publication of The Body Politic.

CODCO, a sketch comedy series whose cast includes the openly gay Greg Malone and Tommy Sexton, debuts on CBC Television. Along with the later The Kids in the Hall, the show plays a prominent role in the representation of LGBT characters and issues on Canadian television; in addition to the gay characters “Jerome and Duncan”, Sexton and Malone were especially renowned for drag-based impersonations of celebrity women such as Queen Elizabeth, Barbara Frum, Barbara Walters, Tammy Faye Bakker and Margaret Thatcher. In one famous sketch, Malone as Frum moderated a debate between Andy Jones as a gay teacher who had been fired from his job for testing HIV-positive and Sexton as Clarabelle Otterhead, the president of an anti-gay lobby group called Citizens Outraged by Weird Sex (or COWS).

1988 – February 29: Svend Robinson becomes Canada’s first elected Member of Parliament to come out as gay.

The Kids in the Hall, a sketch comedy series whose cast includes the openly gay Scott Thompson, debuts on CBC Television. Sketches such as Thompson’s character Buddy Cole and the ensemble sketch “The Steps” were among the most visible representations of gay culture on Canadian television during the show’s run.

1989 – March 19: Joe Rose, a young gay activist in Montreal, is stabbed to death by a gang of teenagers who targeted him for having pink hair. The incident later inspires educator Michael Whatling, who had been a classmate of Rose’s at the time of his death, to publish A Vigil for Joe Rose, an exploration of the struggles faced by LGBT students.

August 21: Alain Brosseau, a straight man in Ottawa, is attacked by a gang of teenagers who wrongly assumed he was gay, while walking home from his job at the Château Laurier. The attackers chase him through Major’s Hill Park to the Alexandra Bridge, and then throw him off the bridge resulting in his death. This results in a gay and lesbian community outcry and eventually leads to the formation of the Ottawa Police Service’s GLBT Liaison Committee two years later.

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July: Montreal’s Sex Garage after-hours party is raided, politicizing an entire generation of queer activists.

August 4 – August 11: Vancouver hosts the 1990 Gay Games.

Chris Lea wins the leadership of the Green Party of Canada, becoming the first openly gay leader of a political party in Canada.


Following the Alain Brosseau incident of 1989, the Ottawa Police Service forms Canada’s first LGBT Police Liaison Committee, with members of both the city’s LGBT community and the Ottawa Police force, sitting on it, as well as Canada’s first police unit specifically dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes.

Kyle Rae is elected as the first openly gay member of Toronto City Council.


Pink Triangle Press launches Capital Xtra! in Ottawa and Xtra! West in Vancouver.

July 12: Unknown persons toss three Molotov cocktails at the front door of the St. Marc Spa in Toronto. Bomb threats are also called in against Woody’s, Bar 501 and the offices of Xtra! the following night.

October 16: – CBC Radio’s The Inside Track, a documentary series about social and cultural issues in sport, airs “The Last Closet”, a one-hour special on homophobia in sports. The episode is noted for featuring voice-filtered interviews with two anonymous gay Canadian athletes who were not yet prepared to officially come out; they would later be revealed as Mark Leduc and Mark Tewksbury.

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June 9: Bill 167, the Bob Rae government’s proposed legislation extending spousal benefits to same-sex couples, is defeated 68-59 in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.


unknown date: The Nu West Steam Bath in New Westminster, British Columbia is raided by its new landlords, who enter the premises and cause damage with the express intention of evicting the facility from their property.

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


The Toronto District School Board launches the Triangle Program, Canada’s first alternative high school program for at-risk LGBT youth.

June 20: Bill C33, which formally adds sexual orientation to the Canadian Human Rights Act as a prohibited grounds of discrimination, receives Royal Assent.


October 28: Glen Murray is elected mayor of Winnipeg, becoming Canada’s and North America’s first openly gay mayor of a major city.


June 3: George Smitherman is elected in the Ontario provincial election, becoming Ontario’s first openly gay MPP.

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Tim Stevenson is appointed to the Legislative Council of British Columbia, becoming Canada’s first openly gay cabinet minister.

Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium v. Canada (Minister of Justice), a landmark Supreme Court of Canada case filed by Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium against Canada Customs, begins.

September 14: Five police officers raid Pussy Palace, a women’s bathhouse event in Toronto. No charges were laid against customers, although police recorded the names of ten women, and two organizers, Rachael Aitcheson and J.P. Hornick, were charged under the bawdyhouse law. Subsequent protest action characterizes the event as essentially little more than a panty raid — a march on the offices of the Toronto Police Services’ 52 Division on October 28 features protestors, both male and female, waving women’s underwear in the air.


June 10 – Joe Clark marches as the grand marshal of Calgary Pride, becoming the first former Prime Minister of Canada ever to attend a Pride parade in that capacity.

September 7 – PrideVision, the world’s first LGBT-specific television channel, is launched by Headline Media Group.

November 17 – In one of Canada’s most notorious anti-gay hate crimes, Vancouver resident Aaron Webster is assaulted and killed in Stanley Park by four young offenders. A march and vigil commemorating Webster and protesting anti-gay violence is held the following day.

November 29 – Yukon MLA Dale Eftoda introduces his partner Robert Brown in the Yukon Legislative Assembly, becoming the first openly gay member of that body.

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May 10: In Marc Hall v. Durham Catholic School Board, a judge orders the Durham Catholic District School Board to allow Marc Hall, an openly gay student, to bring a same-sex date to the high school prom.

December 12: Goliath’s, a bathhouse in Calgary, Alberta, is raided by Calgary Police. Charges move very slowly through the courts; the Crown ultimately drops all charges against customers of the bathhouse in December 2004, but proceeds with charges against the bathhouse owners.


June 12: The Court of Appeal for Ontario rules, in Halpern v. Canada, that the common law definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman violates section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The decision immediately legalizes same-sex marriage in Ontario, and sets a legal precedent – over the next two years, similar court decisions legalize same-sex marriage in seven provinces and one territory before the federal Civil Marriage Act is passed in 2005.

November 15: With same-sex marriage recognized by the courts, British Columbia cabinet minister Ted Nebbeling becomes Canada’s first serving cabinet minister to legally marry his same-sex partner.


March 24: Gay Ontario MPP Dominic Agostino dies of cancer. Controversy results when initial media reports of his death state that he was married to a woman.

August 13: Police raid the Warehouse baths in Hamilton, Ontario.

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May 17: Gay MLA Lorne Mayencourt is reelected in Vancouver-Burrard in the British Columbia provincial election, and gay candidate Nicholas Simons is elected to his first term in Powell River-Sunshine Coast. Mayencourt’s victory is not finalized until early June, however, due to a recount battle with gay challenger Tim Stevenson.

June 26: On the 25th anniversary of Toronto’s Pride Week, Bill Blair becomes the first chief of police in the city’s history to participate in the parade.

July 19: The federal Civil Marriage Act, legalizing same-sex marriage across Canada, is given royal assent.

September 25: Allison Brewer wins the leadership of the New Brunswick New Democratic Party, becoming the first openly lesbian leader of a political party, and the first openly gay leader of a provincial political party, in Canada.

November 15: The openly gay André Boisclair wins the leadership of the Parti Québécois in Quebec.


July 26 – August 5: Montreal hosts the 2006 World Outgames. On July 29, the Declaration of Montreal, an international statement of principle pertaining to the human rights of LGBT people around the world, is adopted at a conference held as part of the festivities.


April 16: 103.9 Proud FM, Canada’s first LGBT radio station and the first in the world operated by a commercial broadcaster rather than a community non-profit group, is launched in Toronto.

October 10: The Ontario provincial election is held. In addition to gay MPPs George Smitherman, Paul Ferreira and Kathleen Wynne, gay candidates include Andrea Németh, a former editor with fab, in Etobicoke—Lakeshore and Paul Pighin, the first openly HIV-positive person to run as a major party candidate for provincial office in Ontario, in London West.

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September 29: At an all-candidates debate staged for a high school student audience in Sudbury during the 2008 federal election, independent candidate David Popescu responds to a question about same-sex marriage by stating that “homosexuals should be executed”. His remarks are widely criticized across Canada, and the Greater Sudbury Police Service investigates whether the comments constitute a crime under Canadian hate speech legislation. On October 2, he also calls for the execution of Egale Canada executive director Helen Kennedy in an interview on CFRB, leading to a second hate crimes investigation by the Toronto Police.

October 29: Two provincial by-elections are held in British Columbia to fill vacancies in the provincial Legislative Assembly. Both are won by openly gay candidates — Spencer Herbert is elected in Vancouver-Burrard, and Jenn McGinn is elected in Vancouver-Fairview.

November 3: A lesbian couple, Jane Currie and Anji Dimitriou, are physically assaulted while waiting to pick up their son at Gordon B. Attersley Public School in Oshawa, Ontario by Mark Scott, the parent of another child at the school. Over 300 people gather outside Oshawa City Hall on November 14 to protest the incident. The Durham Regional Police Service later announce that the incident will not be prosecuted as a hate crime, as Scott neither advocated genocide nor incited anyone else to join in the attack.

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February 5: Ryan Cran, one of the killers in the Aaron Webster incident of 2001, is released on parole after serving four years of a six-year sentence.

March 5: Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General announces that they have concluded their hate crimes investigation in the David Popescu incident of 2008, and officially charge Popescu with two counts of willful promotion of hatred, under Section 319(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada. His court appearance is scheduled for April 15.

March 13: Shawn Woodward is charged with aggravated assault after physically attacking 62-year-old Ritchie Dowrey in Vancouver’s Fountainhead Pub, allegedly because “He’s a faggot. He deserved it.” Dowrey had briefly bumped into Woodward’s shoulder, which the heterosexual Woodward characterized during his trial as a predatory sexual advance. Although Dowrey survived the assault, he suffered serious and permanent brain damage, and was still in an intensive care facility when Woodward was found guilty in August 2010.

April 24: In the British Columbia provincial election campaign, Liberal candidate Marc Dalton faces controversy when an e-mail he sent to a colleague in 1996 is released to the media, in which he stated that “I am not against homosexuals as people, but I do not support their lifestyle choices. I believe homosexuality is a moral issue. Most of us agree on many morals: respect, honesty, kindness. There are also many behaviours and acts that most of us would not condone: rape, robbery, assault, drunken driving, pedophilia, incest and so on.”

May 12: On election night in British Columbia, out gay MLA Spencer Herbert is re-elected in Vancouver-West End and out gay MLA Nicholas Simons is re-elected in Powell River-Sunshine Coast. Out lesbian MLA Jenn McGinn is defeated in Vancouver-Fairview, but another out lesbian, Mable Elmore, is elected in Vancouver-Kensington.

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February 2: In an interview with Andy Barrie on CBC Radio One, Pamela Taylor, the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party candidate in the Toronto Centre by-election on February 4, outs federal cabinet minister John Baird when Barrie asks her if she can name an openly gay member of her party.

February 4: Glen Murray, the openly gay former mayor of Winnipeg, is elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in the Toronto Centre by-election, succeeding the openly gay George Smitherman after the latter resigns to run for Mayor of Toronto.

February 8: The 2010 Winter Olympics begin in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia. The facilities in Whistler include the event’s first-ever Pride House for LGBT athletes.

February 17: During Olympic coverage on the French-language sports network RDS, commentators Claude Mailhot and Alain Goldberg suggest that figure skater Johnny Weir should undergo a gender test to see if he should be competing as a woman. The Quebec Council of Gays and Lesbians subsequently files a complaint with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.

March 2: Liberal and New Democratic Party MPs criticize Jason Kenney, the federal Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, after it is revealed that he personally ordered the removal of references to Canada’s tolerance and acceptance of LGBT people from the newest version of the ministry’s study guide for prospective new citizens.

May 21: Following controversy over the inclusion of the activist group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid in the 2009 Toronto Pride Parade, the event’s organizers vote to ban the use of the phrase “Israeli apartheid” from the 2010 parade, after councillor Giorgio Mammoliti brings a motion before Toronto City Council to have the city withdraw its funding from the event if the group is not banned.

August: Shawn Woodward, who physically assaulted Ritchie Dowrey in Vancouver’s Fountainhead Pub (see March 13, 2009), is found guilty of assault. Justice Jocelyn Palmer rejects Woodward’s defense that Dowrey had groped him, ultimately finding that intention was to deny, deflect and dissemble. He fabricated this story to justify his outrageous assault.” He is subsequently sentenced to six years in jail on November 8.

October 2: Concurrently with a controversial spate of gay teen suicides in the United States, two lesbian teenagers are found dead in a forest near Orangeville, Ontario.

October 18: The home of a gay couple in Little Pond, Prince Edward Island is firebombed. Both men escaped the fire unharmed, but their home was destroyed. In late October and November, a series of rallies and fundraising concerts is held in both Little Pond and Charlottetown to support the couple and to oppose homophobic violence.

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January 10: In a ruling by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, the Dire Straits song “Money for Nothing” is effectively banned from Canadian radio airplay after a gay resident of St. John’s files a complaint because the lyrics contain the derogatory slur “faggot”. The ruling is later rescinded on August 31, with the council leaving it to individual radio stations’ discretion whether or not to play the song.

January 13: British Columbia MLA Mike Farnworth comes out, becoming the fourth openly gay member of the provincial legislature. Alongside caucus colleague Nicholas Simons, he is the second openly gay candidate in the party’s 2011 leadership race.

April: The controversial activist group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid announces its withdrawal from the 2011 Toronto Pride Parade, after Toronto City Council reasserts its intention to withdraw funding support from the parade if the group participates.

May 2: In the 2011 election, gay Members of Parliament Rob Oliphant and Mario Silva are defeated, and Bill Siksay retires from politics; however, three new gay candidates, Randall Garrison, Dany Morin and Philip Toone, win seats in Parliament. Along with returning incumbents Libby Davies and Scott Brison, the number of openly gay Members of Parliament remains at five.

October 11: In the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election, Gerry Rogers becomes the first openly gay politician ever elected to the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly.

October 14: Jamie Hubley, the son of Ottawa city councillor Allan Hubley, commits suicide after having blogged for a month about the anti-gay bullying he was facing at school. The bullying had begun as early as Grade 7, with students on Jamie’s bus attempting to stuff batteries in his mouth because he preferred figure skating over hockey. The incident leads to several Canadian media and political figures posting videos dedicated to Hubley as part of the online It Gets Better Project, as well as an act of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to impose stiffer penalties for bullying in schools which passes in 2012.

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March 19: Craig Scott wins the federal by-election in Toronto—Danforth, becoming the sixth openly gay MP in the 41st Canadian Parliament.

April 14: Allan Hunsperger, a Christian minister from Tofield, Alberta running as a Wildrose candidate in the Alberta provincial election, becomes a focus of controversy when a blog post he wrote in 2011, in his capacity as a church minister, is publicized in the media. The blog post, structured and themed as a rebuttal to Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way”, asserts that “accepting people the way they are is cruel and not loving”, and that gay people are destined to “suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire”.

April 17: Halifax gay activist Raymond Taavel is beaten to death outside Menz & Mollyz, a gay bar on the city’s Gottingen Street, by Andre Denny, a paranoid schizophrenic on an unsupervised leave from a nearby mental hospital, after attempting to break up a fight between Denny and another man. Taavel was a former chair of the city’s gay pride festival and a former editor at the LGBT magazine Wayves and worked at the spiritual magazine Shambhala Sun. Over 1,000 people attend a vigil in Taavel’s memory later the same evening, which includes performances by poet Tanya Davis, actor and writer Stewart Legere and singer-songwriters Rose Cousins and Ria Mae. Although there were unconfirmed allegations that Denny used anti-gay slurs while attacking Taavel, to date media and the police have not asserted that the case clearly constituted a hate crime, generally attributing the attack to Denny’s mental illness rather than to a specifically anti-gay bias. Ironically, Taavel had previously survived a more clearly anti-gay physical attack, which he wrote about in Wayves in May 2010.

April 18: For the second year in a row, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford declines an invitation to attend the city’s annual Pride Parade, on the grounds that it conflicts with his family’s traditional cottage weekend. Unlike in 2011, however, he subsequently attends a PFLAG event on May 17 to mark the International Day Against Homophobia.

April 20: Due to a channel switching error at Shaw Cable facilities in Hamilton, the morning newscast on CHCH-TV is replaced for three minutes by a clip of a gay porn movie.

May 19: Following a legal battle to reverse her disqualification for not being a “naturally born female”, Vancouver resident Jenna Talackova successfully becomes the first transgender woman to compete in a Miss Universe pageant. She does not make the Top 5, but is one of four contestants awarded the title of “Miss Congeniality”.

November: Twenty LGBT officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police release an online video as part of the international It Gets Better Project.

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January 26: Kathleen Wynne wins the leadership of the governing Ontario Liberal Party on the third ballot in its leadership election. She is formally sworn into office on February 11, becoming both Ontario’s first female Premier and Canada’s first openly LGBT first minister.

March 12 – Pink Triangle Press announces the discontinuation of long-running Toronto LGBT magazine fab.

March 20: The House of Commons passes Bill C-279, a private member’s bill sponsored by Randall Garrison, which officially extends human rights protections to transgender and transsexual people in Canada. The bill passes with virtually unanimous support on the opposition benches, as well as 18 members of the governing Conservative Party caucus, although the majority of Conservatives are opposed.

April 2: The gay owners of a restaurant in Morris, Manitoba announce that they are closing the establishment, just three months after opening it, due to homophobic persecution by some residents of the town. The situation draws widespread criticism across Canada, including comments of support for the owners from Morris mayor Gavin van der Linde, Manitoba premier Greg Selinger and opposition leader Brian Pallister; Selinger announces that he will have lunch at the restaurant during his upcoming flood preparation tour of the Red River Valley region.

April 18: Proud Politics, a new organization dedicated to creating networking and fundraising opportunities for LGBT people in politics, launches in Toronto.

June 6: The Toronto Police Service announces that they are investigating the possibility that three unsolved missing persons cases involving men who were last seen in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood, the city’s primary gay village, may be linked.

June 7: Edmonton Pride begins with a raising of the rainbow flag on the grounds of CFB Edmonton, the first time in Canadian history that the flag has flown on a military base.

June 24 – For the first time in his mayoralty, Rob Ford attends the annual kickoff of Toronto’s Pride Week to read the official city proclamation.Kathleen Wynne also announces that she will march in the parade, becoming the first incumbent Premier of Ontario ever to do so.

June 19: Media begin to publicize a series of threatening letters received by a lesbian couple in Kingston, Ontario, from an anonymous “small but dedicated group of Kingston residents devoted to removing the scourge of homosexuality in our city”.

August 7: REAL Women of Canada issues a statement criticizing Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird for speaking out on LGBT human rights issues in both Uganda and Russia as part of Canada’s foreign policy.

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