1 min

The demands

Excerpts from the brief presented to the federal government in 1971 by the August 28th gay Day Comm

Dear Sir:

In 1969 the Criminal Code was amended so as to make certain sexual acts between two consenting adults, in private, not illegal. This was widely misunderstood as “legalizing” homosexuality and thus putting homosexuals on an equal basis with other Canadians.

In fact, this amendment was merely a recognition of the non-enforceable nature of the Criminal Code as it existed. Consequently, its effects have done but little to alleviate the oppression of homosexual men and women in Canada. In our daily lives we are still confronted with discrimination, police harassment, exploitation and pressures to conform which deny our sexuality.

Therefore, we as homosexual citizens of Canada, present the following brief to our government as a means of redressing our grievances.

1 The removal of the nebulous terms “gross indecency” and “indecent act” from the Criminal Code and their replacement by a specific list of offences, and the equalization of penalties for all remaining homosexual and heterosexual acts.

2 Removal of “gross indecency” and “buggery” as grounds for indictment as a “dangerous sexual offender” and for vagrancy.

3 A uniform age of consent for all female and male homosexual and heterosexual acts.

4 The Immigration Act be amended so as to omit all references to homosexuals and “homosexualism.”

5 The right of equal employment and promotion at all government levels for homosexuals.

6 The Divorce Act be amended so as to omit sodomy and homosexual acts as grounds for divorce; moreover in divorce cases homosexuality, per se, should not preclude the equal right of child custody.

7 The right of homosexuals to serve in the Armed Forces, and therefore the removal of provisions for convicting service personnel of conduct and/or acts legal under the Criminal Code.

8 To know if it is a policy of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to identify homosexuals within any area of government service and then question them concerning their sexuality and the sexuality of others; and if this is the policy we demand its immediate cessation and destruction of all records so obtained.

9 All legal rights for homosexuals which currently exist for heterosexuals.

10 All public officials and law enforcement agents to employ the full force of their office to bring about changes in the negative attitudes and de facto expressions of discrimination and prejudice against homosexuals.