Gay Canadian MPs on the legacy of Bill C-150

40 years since homosexuality was decriminalized

Forty years ago, Canada’s House of Commons decriminalized homosexuality with the passage of Bill C-150.

The omnibus bill — first introduced by then-justice minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau — touched on a wide range of social issues, including gay sex, abortion, gambling and divorce.

“It’s bringing the laws of the land up to contemporary society I think,” Trudeau told reporters after introducing the bill in the Commons on Dec 21, 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.”

C-150 amended the buggery and gross indecency sections of the Criminal Code to ensure that anal sex between any two consenting adults (including two gay men) would no longer be a crime — as long as it took place in private and between participants aged 21 years or older.

“Something very momentous took place,” says NDP MP Libby Davies, looking back at C-150. “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.” Changing those laws was an important milestone in Canadian queer rights, says Davies.

Xtra.ca asked gay politicians on the Hill what they think about the legacy of C-150. Check out their responses below:

(Watch and share this video on YouTube)

Don’t miss Xtra’s two-part series on C-150 by Senator Laurier L LaPierre, starting next week.

Video by Dale Smith.

On occasion, the number of editors and other staff who contribute to a story gets a little unwieldy to give a byline to everyone. That’s when we use “Xtra Staff” in place of the usual contributor info. If you would like more information on who contributed to a particular story, please contact us here.

Read More About:
Power, Video, News, History, Canada

Keep Reading

Activists call on Prides to divest from Israel

A growing movement is calling on Pride groups to not take money from companies with financial ties to Israel’s current military operation in Gaza

Here’s why a ‘Rainbow Week of Action’ is planned across Canada in May

Rallies are planned for May 17 in at least a dozen cities across the country, as well as letter-writing campaigns and education events

7 charts that highlight Chappell Roan’s rise

The "Good Luck, Babe!" singer's popularity has exploded in recent months

How AI image generators fail queer and trans people

The "Cass Review" and its use of AI-generated images highlight some of the key issues with depicting queer and trans people using artificial intelligence