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Debate on the issue had been escalating in both British and Canadian media through the previous decade, following the release in 1957 of a public inquiry known as the Wolfenden Report, which recommended decriminalization.

In 1977, Québec amended its Human Rights Code to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

That same year, the Canadian Immigration Act was also amended, lifting a ban prohibiting gay men from immigrating.

Though LGBT rights were advancing, gays and lesbians still faced discrimination, including ongoing police harassment.

The New York Police Department had attempted a raid on a popular gay bar in the heart of Greenwich Village that night, but the bar’s patrons fought back forcefully, resulting in a humiliating defeat for the police and garnering nation-wide media attention.

On the first anniversary of the riots, marches took place in New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Pink Triangle Press also founded the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in 1973, which today is a respected and historically important collection of LGBT material.

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