Canada’s long history of criminalizing sex and legislating morality

1892 Newly enacted Criminal Code Of Canada contains a number of offences stigmatizing gay sex, among them buggery and gross indecency. 1917 Bawdy house provisions of.


1892 Newly enacted Criminal Code Of Canada contains a number of offences stigmatizing gay sex, among them buggery and gross indecency.

1917 Bawdy house provisions of the Code initially aimed at indoor prostitution are expanded to include “acts of indecency” and massage parlours.

1948 Parliament adds a number of offences to combat “criminal sexual psychopaths,” allowing the indefinite detention of those charged with homosexual acts.

1967 Supreme Court of Canada upholds that legislation, prompting Parliament to amend laws prohibiting same-sex conduct two years later.

2013 Supreme Court strikes down bawdy house and other provisions of the prostitution laws, ruling that they pose safety risks for sex workers.

December 6, 2014 New prostitution bill targeting “the perpetrators, the perverts [and] the pimps” becomes law, criminalizing clients and pushing sex workers more precariously further underground.

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