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Beginning in 1890, accused gays were usually charged with the crime of “gross indecency.” Amendments to the criminal code were made in 19, which further criminalized homosexuality through the invented categories of “criminal sexual psychopath” and “dangerous sexual offender.” (The definition of the latter was anyone “who is likely to commit another sexual offence,” thus criminalizing any gay person who was not celibate.) Two important events precipitated the liberalization of Canadian laws and attitudes in the late 1960s.
The first of these was the imprisonment of Everett George Klippert, a mechanic from the Northwest Territories arrested in 1965 on charges of “gross indecency.” After being deemed a “dangerous sexual offender” by prison psychiatrists, his prison term was extended indefinitely — a ruling that was scrutinized and criticized in the mainstream press.
With the steady increase in rights for LGBT Canadians, the focus of many has turned to the situation of gays and lesbians abroad who face more violent persecution.
Such cases have become a focus for many of today's Pride celebrations.
One year later, Toronto held its first Pride celebration with a picnic on the Toronto Islands organized by the University of Toronto Homophile Association, Toronto Gay Action Now and the Community Homophile Association of Toronto.
For the next century, however, the laws governing “homosexual acts” in became more and more stringent.