Jan 12, 4: The couple had been together for 22 years and were finally allowed to marry following a court ruling. That year, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a ruling that labelled Everett Klippert a "dangerous sexual offender" and threw him in prison for admitting he was gay and that he had sex with other men. Today, homosexual Canadians enjoy much more freedom and societal acceptance. Here's a look at some of the changes that have occurred since Klippert was sent behind bars.
In , Klippert is sent to prison indefinitely as a "dangerous sex offender," a sentence that was backed up by the Supreme Court of Canada that same year. In , amendments that Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had proposed when he was justice minister to the Criminal Code to decriminalize homosexuality are passed. It's bringing the laws of the land up to contemporary society I think. Take this thing on homosexuality.
I think the view we take here is that there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation. I think that what's done in private between adults doesn't concern the Criminal Code. When it becomes public this is a different matter, or when it relates to minors this is a different matter.
July 20, Everett Klippert is released. The law makes it illegal to discriminate against gays in housing, public accommodation and employment. After almost six years in the courts, including two trials, the case is finally resolved when on Oct. In the first trial, The Pink Triangle Press had also won an acquittal but upon appeal the Crown won a retrial. The case results in an important precedent. On June 15, , Judge Thomas Mercer, the judge for the second trial, rules that the article "does, in fact, advocate pedophilia," but says, "It is perfectly legal to advocate what in itself would be unacceptable to most Canadians.
Under the act, homosexuals are removed from the list of inadmissible classes. May 2, Bill C, an act to prohibit discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gets its first reading in the House of Commons by MP Pat Carney. The bill, which would have inserted "sexual orientation" into the Canadian Human Rights Act, doesn't pass.
All the proposed bills are defeated. The next night, about 3, people march in downtown Toronto to protest the arrests. This is considered to be Canada's 'Stonewall. The report discusses the harassment, violence, physical abuse, psychological oppression and hate propaganda that homosexuals live with.
The committee recommends that the Canadian Human Rights Act be changed to make it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation. In March , the government responds to the report in a paper titled "Toward Equality" in which it writes "the government will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that sexual orientation is a prohibited ground of discrimination in relation to all areas of federal jurisdiction.
Robinson was first elected to the House of Commons in In , the B. The Alberta Human Rights Commission refuses to investigate the case because the Alberta Individual Rights Protection Act does not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Vriend takes the government of Alberta to court and, in , the court rules that sexual orientation must be added to the act. The government wins on appeal in and the decision is overturned. In November , the case goes to the Supreme Court of Canada and on April 2, , the high court unanimously rules that the exclusion of homosexuals from Alberta's Individual Rights Protection Act is a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Supreme Court says that the act would be interpreted to include homosexuals even if the province doesn't change it. The Alberta government does not use the notwithstanding clause despite pressure from conservative and religious groups. August In Haig and Birch v. Canada, the Ontario Court of Appeal rules that the failure to include sexual orientation in the Canadian Human Rights Act is discriminatory. Federal Justice Minister Kim Campbell responds to the decision by announcing the government would take the necessary steps to include sexual orientation in the Canadian Human Rights Act.
November The federal court lifts the country's ban on homosexuals in the military, allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the armed forces. But the act, which would also restrict the definition of "marital status" to opposite-sex couples, doesn't pass first reading. On June 3, , the Senate passes Bill S, another attempt at adding "sexual orientation" to the Canadian Human Rights Act, but the bill doesn't make it to the House of Commons because Parliament is dissolved for the federal election.
The case isn't a complete loss to homosexuals though. Two of the judges find the term "family status" was broad enough to include same-sex couples living together in a long-term relationship. The Supreme Court also notes that if Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been argued, the ruling might have been different. The court rules against Egan and Nesbit.
However, all nine judges agree that sexual orientation is a protected ground and that protection extends to partnerships of lesbians and gay men.
May An Ontario Court judge finds that the Child and Family Services Act of Ontario infringes Section 15 of the Charter by not allowing same-sex couples to bring a joint application for adoption. He rules that four lesbians have the right to adopt their partners' children. Ontario becomes the first province to make it legal for same-sex couples to adopt. British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia follow suit, also allowing adoption by same-sex couples.
Other provinces are looking into the issue. May The Supreme Court of Canada rules same-sex couples should have the same benefits and obligations as opposite-sex common-law couples and equal access to benefits from social programs to which they contribute. The ruling centred on the "M v. H" case which involved two Toronto women who had lived together for more than a decade. The problem was that the act defined "spouse" as either a married couple or "a man and woman" who are unmarried and have lived together for no less than three years.
The judge rules that the definition violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and declares that the words "a man and woman" should be replaced with "two persons. Although neither "M" nor "H" chooses to take the case any further, Ontario's attorney general is granted leave to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal, which brought the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court rules that the Ontario Family Law Act's definition of "spouse" as a person of the opposite sex is unconstitutional as was any provincial law that denies equal benefits to same-sex couples.
Ontario is given six months to amend the act. June 8, Although many laws will have to be revised to comply with the Supreme Court's ruling in May, the federal government votes to 55 in favour of preserving the definition of "marriage" as the union of a man and a woman. Justice Minister Anne McLellan says the definition of marriage is already clear in law and the federal government has "no intention of changing the definition of marriage or legislating same-sex marriage.
Instead of changing Ontario's definition of spouse, which the Supreme Court essentially struck down, the government creates a new same-sex category, changing the province's Family Law Act to read "spouse or same-sex partner" wherever it had read only "spouse" before.
Bill 5 also amends more than 60 other provincial laws, making the rights and responsibilities of same-sex couples mirror those of common-law couples. The act would give same-sex couples who have lived together for more than a year the same benefits and obligations as common-law couples.
In March, Justice Minister Anne McLellan announces the bill will include a definition of marriage as "the lawful union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.
The legislation gives same-sex couples the same social and tax benefits as heterosexuals in common-law relationships. In total, the bill affects 68 federal statutes relating to a wide range of issues such as pension benefits, old age security, income tax deductions, bankruptcy protection and the Criminal Code. The definitions of "marriage" and "spouse" are left untouched but the definition of "common-law relationship" is expanded to include same-sex couples.
March 16, Alberta passes Bill which says that the province will use the notwithstanding clause if a court redefines marriage to include anything other than a man and a woman. July 21, British Columbia Attorney General Andrew Petter announces he will ask the courts for guidance on whether Canada's ban on same-sex marriages is constitutional, making his province the first to do so. Toronto was the first Canadian city to ask for clarification on the issue when it did so in May Hawkes says that if the banns are read on three Sundays before the wedding, he can legally marry the couples.
The reading of banns is meant to be an opportunity for anyone who might oppose a wedding to come forward with objections before the ceremony. No one comes forward on the first Sunday but the next week two people stand up to object, including Rev. Ken Campbell who calls the procedure "lawless and Godless. Consumer Minister Bob Runciman says Ontario will not recognize same-sex marriages.
He says no matter what Hawkes' church does, the federal law is clear. The following day, Runciman reiterates the government's position, saying the marriages will not be legally recognized. Officials acknowledge that Hall has the right to be gay, but said permitting the date would send a message that the church supports his "homosexual lifestyle. July 12, For the first time, a Canadian court rules in favour of recognizing same-sex marriages under the law. The Ontario Superior Court rules that prohibiting gay couples from marrying is unconstitutional and violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The court gives Ontario two years to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. As a result of the Ontario ruling, the Alberta government passes a bill banning same-sex marriages and defines marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.
The province says it will use the notwithstanding clause to avoid recognizing same-sex marriages if Ottawa amends the Marriage Act. Also, a ruling against gay marriages is expected to be heard in B. July 16, Ontario decides not to appeal the court ruling, saying only the federal government can decide who can marry. July 29, On July 29, the federal government announces it will seek leave to appeal the Ontario court ruling "to seek further clarity on these issues.
The federal government has already changed several laws to give same-sex couples the same benefits and obligations as heterosexual common-law couples. June 10, The Ontario Court of Appeal upholds a lower court ruling to legally allow same-sex marriages. The judgment follows the Ontario Divisional Court ruling on July 12, Both men played a key role in the court case.
June 11, Ontario Attorney General Norm Sterling announces that the province will obey the law and register same-sex marriages. Nearly two dozen homosexual couples applied for marriage licences in Ontario on June July 8, British Columbia becomes the second province to legalize same-sex marriages. The British Columbia Court of Appeal lifts its ban on same-sex marriages, giving couples in the province the right to marry immediately.
The decision alters a ruling that would have made same-sex marriages legal, but not until July The court had already agreed that the definition of marriage should be the union of "two persons" rather than of "one man and one woman. July 17, Ottawa reveals the exact wording of legislation that would allow gay couples to marry. According to the draft bill, "marriage for civil purposes is the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others.