04/22/2013 09:33 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

This Week In Gay History April 21 – 27: Shakespeare, 'Ma' Rainey And The Most Hated Man In San Francisco

April 21

April 21 1981 -- In Toronto six people, including activists George Hislop and Peter Maloney and head of Club Bath chain in United States, Jack Campbell are charged with conspiracy to live off avails of crime. All three were listed as owners of the Club Baths Toronto. These were the final charges following the infamous February 5, 1981 bathhouse raids named laughingly by Metropolitan Toronto Police as Operation Soap place on February 5, 1981 where over 300 gay bathhouse patrons were arrested.

The event marked a major turning point in the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Canada; the raids and their aftermath are today widely considered to be the Canadian equivalent of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City Mass protests and rallies were held denouncing the incident. These evolved into Toronto’s current Pride Week, which is now one of the world’s largest gay pride festivals 2010. Almost all the charges against the 300+ men charges including Hislop, Maloney and Campbel are later dropped in court and the Toronto Metro Police become a laughingstock.

Read more on Back 2 Stonewall

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