Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Bawdy house to Stonewall

South of the border we have the good news that California's denial of same-sex marriage rights has been over-turned by a court.

Then I read a link through Antonia Z's twitter feed about the implications of the Conservative's reclassification of the crime of running a bawdy house into a much more serious legal category:

The definition of a “criminal organization” is three or more people engaged in committing “serious offences” for profit. Thanks to the cabinet fiat, “serious offences” now includes keeping a bawdy house. Christine Bruckert, a professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa who has studied sex work, says the change in regulation could affect massage parlours, brothels, dungeons, bathhouses — even swingers' clubs.

“It could have a significant and wide-ranging impact,” she says.

Bruckert calls the changes “a slippage in the discourse around trafficking,” where anxiety about women being trapped by international pimps is now being applied to unrelated situations. “If you understand bawdy houses as a place where people work, it has nothing to do with a serious crime,” says Bruckert. “That’s why it’s not defined as a serious offence in the criminal code.”
Toronto showed us how the Conservatives are willing to use the police to violently enforce their particular brand of social order on society. Do the bastards have more in mind with this than prostitution? Say like rewinding the clock 30 or 40 years to an era when police harrassment of LTGB neighbourhoods and businesses was a common activity?

Brown people, women, protestors of any stripe, and now...I think I'm starting to see what they mean by unreported crimes.

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