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article imageLegacy of Bill C-150 in Canada 40 Years Later

By Carolyn E. Price     May 14, 2009 in Politics
Forty years ago today, the House of Commons passed an omnibus Bill C-150 that amongst other things, decriminalized homosexuality.
In December of 1967, then Minister of Justice Pierre Elliott Trudeau introduced in the House of Commons, Bill C-150.
After almost a year-and-a-half of heated debate, on May 14, 1969, The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69 passed its third and final reading and became law.
After introducing the bill in late 1967, Trudeau so famously said: "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."
Bill C-150 amended sections of the Criminal Code to state that as long as anal sex took place in the privacy of one's own abode and was between two consenting adults (either a man and a woman or between two men) who were 21-years-old or older, then it would no longer be considered a crime.
NDP MP Libby Davies says that changing the laws was an important milestone in queer rights:
Something very momentous took place. The fact that laws criminalized people because they loved each other and they happened to be of the same sex — it's a horrific thing.
Xtra.ca asked gay and lesbian politicians what they thought about Bill C-150 and its legacy today. Follow the link to watch the video, it is a really interesting look back from the gay and lesbian point of view.
Bill C-150 did not just decriminalize homosexuality. It also legalized abortion and contraception, regulated lotteries, gun possession, drinking and driving offences, harassing phone calls, misleading advertising and cruelty to animals.
More about Homosexuality, Legalized 40-year anniversary, Bill c-150
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