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Subject: Canadian Law Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 20:33:19 GMT Thank you for asking for information about the Coalition to Reform the Bawdy House Act. We hope that once you are aware of the facts you will support this effort. The problem is that an outdated morality law is being used to make criminals of people with both mainstream and alternative lifestyles. This law - the section of the Criminal Code referred to as the Bawdy House Laws - has been dusted off and is now being used arbitrarily by police and Crown Attorneys, even though the Government's own Fraser Report recommended scrapping this archaic law more than a decade ago. Decent people are now seeing their homes invaded by police. The private homes of professional Dominants are being raided and destroyed, and personal property is being confiscated - even when no complaints have been made. Law abiding, tax-paying Canadians are being forced to choose to either parade their sexual lifestyles in open court or to quietly plead guilty to victimless crimes. In these days of cutbacks, do you think police should be laying Bawdy House charges when they could be chasing the real criminals who threaten our lives and property? THE PROBLEM WITH THE BAWDY HOUSE ACT The law defines a bawdy house as any place used for prostitution or acts of indecency. Not only is it a crime to operate a bawdy house, it is also a crime to simply be found in a bawdy house. The problem is that "acts of indecency" are not defined in the Criminal Code, leaving the police and Crown Attorneys free to impose their own definition of morality - even when no sex is involved and no money is exchanged. That makes everyone with an alternative lifestyle a potential criminal in the eyes of the law. COALITION TO REFORM BAWDY HOUSE ACT The coalition so far is composed of The National Leather Association: Toronto Chapter, Fetish Night Hostess Madam X, Mr. Leatherman Toronto Duncan MacLachlan, Cara Gillies from Maggie's, and Boudoir Noir Magazine. We have asked members of the leather and gay communities to write to their MP's and Minister of Justice Allen Rock asking them to revisit the recommendations of their own Fraser Report. Specifically, the Fraser Report recommended A) relaxing Section 1 defining a bawdy house as a place used for acts of prostitution, and allowing one or two sex workers to work in their homes rather than on the streets (alleviating the problem of street prostitution); and B) eliminating Section 2 defining a bawdy house as a place used for acts of indecency (eliminating the threat to people for simply having alternative lifestyles). Alternative lifestylers of all gender preferences in Toronto are fearful. Right now, private parties and "Fetish Nights" in Canada qualify as "bawdy houses," according to the interpretation used by law enforcement agencies. No one is safe. The public and private support of credible organizations and individuals will be very helpful to this grassroots effort to return sanity to our legal process. Please call if you have questions or suggestions. And thank you for taking the time to read this letter. Respectfully yours, BOUDOIR NOIR, non-fiction Leather-Fetish- Consensual SM Magazine. Box 5, Stn. F, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2L4. Ph. (416) 591-2387; Fax (416) 591-1572; E-mail email@example.com. Sample $10. Subscription $24 ($50 outside North America); $6.95 at newsstand. Member Canadian Magazine Publishers Association. World Wide Web Site at http://www.the-wire.com/boudoir.noir.
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