Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

20th Anniversary of Canada’s Child Pornography Law

August 23rd, 2013 Comments off

Queer Ontario recognizes the 20th anniversary of Canada’s Child Pornography Law.
Twenty years ago this month, the child pornography provisions in the Canadian Criminal Code came into effect. It was then and remains today a controversial law. As in all issues which affect LGBTQ communities, Queer Ontario will continue to promote critical thinking and challenging debate on a number of social policies, laws and social norms that regulate our communities.  QO stands against child abuse and exploitation of anyone regardless of age, yet we feel that the child porn law and its enforcement should also be a subject of continuing discussions, critical analysis and empirical investigation, all of which are threatened by existing laws on this topic.

Categories: Notices Tags: ,

Queer Ontario Responds to the Tory Omnibus Crime Bill

December 6th, 2011 Comments off

Tory’s Tough on Crime Bill may be Tough on Consensual Sex, says Queer Ontario

The Harper government’s harsh and ideologically motivated “tough on crime” omnibus legislation, Bill C-10 (The Safe Streets and Communities Act), contains a new provision that may be tough on consensual sex if the police and the courts decide to use it to keep sex strictly confined to the bedrooms of the nation.  An amendment to s. 173.(1) of the Criminal Code (indecent acts) will make it possible for anyone who “willfully does an indecent act in a public place in the presence of one or more persons” to be found guilty of an indictable offence and be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years.  This marks a significant change from the current s. 173.(1) which designates “indecent act” as a summary conviction offence for which the maximum penalty is imprisonment for not more than six months.  The amendment will give a Crown prosecutor the discretion to determine whether to proceed with a case against someone charged with the offence as a summary conviction offence or an indictable offence.
“The problem with the ‘indecent act’ section of the Criminal Code, all along, has been its vagueness as to just what constitutes an ‘indecent act’ because that term is not defined in the Criminal Code,” says Richard Hudler, of Queer Ontario. “It is left completely to the police, in terms of laying charges, and to the courts, in terms of a finding of guilt, to determine whether a place is ‘public’ and whether an act committed in that place is ‘indecent’”.
What constitutes a “public place” is equally vague.  S. 150 of the Criminal Code defines it as including “any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, express or implied.”  People of any gender could be charged and convicted of an “indecent act” for engaging in consenting sexual acts on a beach, in a park, in a parked car, at a sex party or in a bathhouse. Historically, police have laid indecent act charges during raids on bathhouses and sex clubs and against people having sex in secluded places in parks late at night.  Even a sex party with invitations and advertising could be argued to be a public place and could be raided by the police, with indecent act charges being laid against the participants they find having sex. Queer liberation groups have long called for the abolition of the “indecent act” offence because of the way in which it has been used to target and repress consensual sex and to enforce morality.
“Now, the Harper government, in a gesture clearly aimed at catering to its social conservative constituency and their anti-sex morality agenda, is about to make a vague and odious law even more severe,” Richard Hudler states.  “It is appalling and deplorable that adults engaging in consensual sex could potentially be sent to prison for up to two years. This amendment to s.173.(1) must be defeated.”

Richard Hudler
Download: Queer Ontario Omnibus Crime Bill Statement

Federal Call To Action – Trans Rights Now!

November 13th, 2011 Comments off

Recently, Randall Garrison, MP and LGBTT critic for the New Democratic Party of Canada, reintroduced into Parliament a Bill to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) and the Criminal Code of Canada to include gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds for discrimination.

As you may know, this Bill – Bill C-279 – had a previous manifestation, Bill C-389, which made it through Parliament but died at the Senate when the government was dissolved in March. Now, thanks to the re-introduction of the Bill by Randall Garrison, we have yet another chance to make these human rights protections a reality.

Here’s how you can help put the pressure on the MP’s and the Prime Minister to pass the Bill:

1. Do a canvass!
Print out some copies of Randall Garrison’s petition, grab some friends, and hit your local neighbourhood hotspots. Then, mail copies of the petition to back to MP Garrison so that he may bring it to the floor. The best part of this is that postage is FREE!

Click here to download a copy of the petition [PDF Format].

2. Contact your Member of Parliament (MP)
Call, write, email, tweet or snail-mail your MPs, and the Leaders of the Conservative, NDP and Liberal Parties of Canada. Let them know that you support fundamental human rights, and that passing this Bill would provide explicit and unequivocal human rights protections to transsexual, transgender, intersex and gender variant individuals in Canada.

Don’t know who your MP is? You can find them easily using this online tool and your postal code:

Call, write or email the Minister of Justice, the Hon. Rob Nicholson, P.C., M.P.
Telephone: 613-995-1547       E-mail:

Call, write or email the Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Telephone: 613-992-4211     Email:

Letters to all MPs, Party Leaders, the Prime Minister can be sent postage free to:

House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

So call, write, and tweet away – let’s make this the winning Bill!

Categories: Releases Tags: , , ,