You are warmly invited to attend our event Decriminalization at 50 at the Central Library, Tuesday, May 14, at 6 PM. We are bringing together local historians, artists, and gay elders to speak to this day in history when 50 years ago Bill C-150 was passed in the House of Commons.
Meeting in the BMO room (level 0) from 6:00-7:30 PM.
This anniversary has spawned a new loonie, a new film, a national touring exhibition, and a backlash movement called anti-69, which argues that the 1969 decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada is a myth. On Tuesday, we will explore the tenor of this debate as well as recount the life of Calgarian, Everett Klippert, whose court case was central to this legislation.
Civic Tavern is at 213 12 Ave. SW. Film Screening at 9:00 PM.
After the library, we are decamping to Civic Tavern at 8:30 PM, for refreshments, conversation, and a film screening of Gross Indecency: The Everett Klippert Story, our award-winning short film about the man, who spent much of the 1960s in jail, because of his sexual orientation.
Please join us!
Posted in Gay history
Tagged anti-69, Bill C-150, bisexual, Everett Klippert, gay, Gay history, gross indecency, lesbian, loonie, queer, transgender
The Calgary Gay History Project is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada with a special event at the New Central Library.
In November 1967, Everett Klippert was sentenced to incarceration for life for being gay by the Supreme Court of Canada. This prompted a very famous quote from then Justice Minister, Pierre Trudeau.
December 1967: “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, and I think what’s done in private between adults doesn’t concern the Criminal Code.” Source: CBC (click to watch video).
On April 16, 1969, as Prime Minister, Trudeau presented the Criminal Law Amendment Act, (Bill C-150) in the House of Commons. The bill proposed to decriminalize homosexuality and allow abortion and contraception, along with other new regulatory measures on a number of less controversial issues. Debate raged in the House. The tone was rancorous and some Members of Parliament (MPs) were particularly shocking in their remarks.
For example, Calgary MP Eldon Wooliams said: “I do not want to have this kind of debauchery in our nation. I think there is a place for a filibuster. If people tell me to get on with the job, I will say to them: ‘Do you want me to legalize sexual intercourse with the animals of Canada?”
Bill C-150’s third reading passed on May 14th, specifically altering the crimes of gross indecency and buggery in private between two consenting adults aged 21 or older. Thus began a new chapter for the gay rights movement in Canada.
We intend to honour this consequential day in Canadian history! Planning has begun for a special event at the Central Library from 6:30 – 7:45 PM! We are designing an evening which promises to be full of history, theatre, and art. We are also seeking input and participation: if you have an idea for the evening program email us.
Celebrate Freedom: see you on May 14th!
Posted in Gay history
Tagged bisexual, C-150, calgary public library, Eldon Wooliams, Everett Klippert, gay, lesbian, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, queer, Supreme Court of Canada, transgender
Parkside Love was a great success last week. Thanks to Shelf Life Books, and all the Calgarians who came out to share memories of the former Parkside Continental bar. It was a special place for many and formative for Calgary’s LGBTQ2 community.
Kevin Allen standing in front of the original window/artifact from the Parkside Continental – 1302 4 St. SW.
Gross Indecency: The Everett Klippert Story has garnered a nomination at the Canadian Screen Awards for director Laura O’Grady. We were so thrilled to be part of this film and think Laura is a most deserving nominee. Keep your fingers crossed when the Academy votes next month.
Laura O’Grady – Canadian Screen Award Nominee
Speaking of Everett, we are working with the New Central Library on an exhibition in May to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada. If you have any thoughts on what should be included in that exhibition write to us at email@example.com.
Excerpt from Everett Klippert’s diary in jail
Posted in Gay history
Tagged bisexual, Canadian Screen Awards, Everett Klippert, gay, gross indecency, Laura O'Grady, lesbian, New Central Library, Parkside Continental, queer, Shelf Life, transgender