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Kersplebedeb | Kersplebedeb: What I Do Know: The Colonial Evisceration of Cindy Gladue

What I do know is that Cindy Gladue was not killed by an Indian man. Bradley Barton is a white man. I suppose, however, that Cindy Gladue’s case wouldn’t even be factored into this type of statistical analysis since, according to the courts, she wasn’t murdered at all.

source: http://titsandsass.com/what-i-do-know-the-colonial-evisceration-of-cindy-gladue/

Dented Blue Mercedes: “A little free speech for me, and a little shut-up-and-take-it-like-a-man for you.”

There’s a bit of controversy brewing in the UK press, as a result of a letter from academics and activists (including noted LGB activist Peter Tatchell, as well as some recognized trans-exclusionary reactionaries) published in The Observer (“We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals“). In it they call for universities to stand against what . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: “A little free speech for me, and a little shut-up-and-take-it-like-a-man for you.”

Dented Blue Mercedes: “A little free speech for me, and a little shut-up-and-take-it-like-a-man for you.”

There’s a bit of controversy brewing in the UK press, as a result of a letter from academics and activists (including noted LGB activist Peter Tatchell, as well as some recognized trans-exclusionary reactionaries) published in The Observer (“We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals“). In it they call for universities to stand against what . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: “A little free speech for me, and a little shut-up-and-take-it-like-a-man for you.”

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Slightly over a week ago, Canada introduced legislation to replace the anti-prostitution laws that had been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Conservative government has been trying to race Bill C-36 through both the House and the Senate simultaneously, at breakneck speed. But the text of the bill has raised questions about . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Slightly over a week ago, Canada introduced legislation to replace the anti-prostitution laws that had been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Conservative government has been trying to race Bill C-36 through both the House and the Senate simultaneously, at breakneck speed. But the text of the bill has raised questions about . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Dented Blue Mercedes: C-36: Conflating sex work with human trafficking

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography. Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

I also looked at . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: C-36: Conflating sex work with human trafficking

Dented Blue Mercedes: C-36: Conflating sex work with human trafficking

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography. Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

I also looked at . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: C-36: Conflating sex work with human trafficking

Dented Blue Mercedes: Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act: an overview

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography somehow. Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

That is, however, . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act: an overview

Dented Blue Mercedes: Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act: an overview

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography somehow. Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

That is, however, . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act: an overview

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

One of the concerns that has been raised about Bill C-36 is that “sexual services” is not defined.

Terri Jean Bedford, one of the plaintiffs in the case that overturned the previous anti-prostitution laws, has raised this question a number of times, without receiving an answer. A professional dominatrix’s job, after all, involves fulfilling a . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

One of the concerns that has been raised about Bill C-36 is that “sexual services” is not defined.

Terri Jean Bedford, one of the plaintiffs in the case that overturned the previous anti-prostitution laws, has raised this question a number of times, without receiving an answer. A professional dominatrix’s job, after all, involves fulfilling a . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

The Canadian Progressive: Canada’s Sex Workers Dismayed by Harper’s New Prostitution Law

“Frankly, this response is heartbreaking.” – Emily Symons

by: POWER | Press Release | June 4, 2014

(OTTAWA) – Today, members of POWER and other sex workers and allies across Canada expressed dismay and disappointment following the introduction of a Bill in the House of Commons that would criminalize the purchase of sex. The Minister . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Canada’s Sex Workers Dismayed by Harper’s New Prostitution Law

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work ends Monday March 17th.

The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work closes March 17, 2014.

Although the questions appear to be stacked, it’s important that people who support decriminalization participate. There’s certainly no shortage of people filling out the forms and calling for new criminalization. The questionnaire is here, and Maggie’s Toronto provides some advice on answering . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work ends Monday March 17th.

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work ends Monday March 17th.

The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work closes March 17, 2014.

Although the questions appear to be stacked, it’s important that people who support decriminalization participate. There’s certainly no shortage of people filling out the forms and calling for new criminalization. The questionnaire is here, and Maggie’s Toronto provides some advice on answering . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work ends Monday March 17th.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Across the left divide over sex work.

I’m putting on my op-ed hat for this. The following draws from my own history, but I think it helps provide some insight into the left-wing divide over sex work. I’m skipping over this very quickly, and I’m sure I’ll probably forget some important distinctions and nuances, so bear with me.

This is two parts . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Across the left divide over sex work.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Across the left divide over sex work.

I’m putting on my op-ed hat for this. The following draws from my own history, but I think it helps provide some insight into the left-wing divide over sex work. I’m skipping over this very quickly, and I’m sure I’ll probably forget some important distinctions and nuances, so bear with me.

This is two parts . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Across the left divide over sex work.

Melissa Fong: Protecting sex workers and brothels: Demonstrations over London prostitute evictions

I wrote this, “Micro-brothels” in BC: Are we still criminalizing prostitution? a couple weeks ago to also make sure that we’re properly protecting the rights of sex workers who choose the industry. Generally, I fear a call to shut down all brothels will increase harm to sex workers. I’m especially worried about neighbours taking it . . . → Read More: Melissa Fong: Protecting sex workers and brothels: Demonstrations over London prostitute evictions

Melissa Fong: “Micro-brothels” in BC: Are we still criminalizing prostitution?

“Micro-brothels” in BC: Are we still criminalizing prostitution? The short answer: YES. Now the long answer: I’ve seen a couple articles in Vancouver’s 24hr News about how micro-brothels are a booming and we should be really scared because micro-brothels are dangerous. See here and here. First article: Sex-worker activist Sue Davis said buying and selling . . . → Read More: Melissa Fong: “Micro-brothels” in BC: Are we still criminalizing prostitution?

Dented Blue Mercedes: Criminalization by any other name…

In Meghan Murphy’s Globe and Mail op-ed of June 3rd, A prostitution solution: Outlaw the customers, not the hookers, she presents what is often referred to as the Swedish or Nordic model of legislation — removing penalties for those who sell sex but prosecuting the buying of it — as a compromise between the arguments . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Criminalization by any other name…

Straight Outta Edmonton: Bedford Challenge to Canada’s Prostitution Laws

Prostitution is legal in Canada. There are no laws prohibiting the sale of sex. 
However, criminal prohibitions on bawdy houses (such as brothels), living on the avails of prostitution, and communicating in public for the purposes of prostitution make almost all forms of sex work illegal. Out-call work, where sex workers meet clients in their homes or hotel rooms, is considered the only form sex work that escapes these provisions. 
On June 13, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the latest challenge to the country’s sex work laws. The women behind the challenge — current and former sex workers intending on returning to the trade — argue that these criminal prohibitions deprive them of their right to life, liberty and security of the person guaranteed by s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Rather than protecting women from the harms associated with the sex trade, the existing laws, it is said, do the opposite. They prevent sex workers from taking steps necessary to ensure their safety and security. 
The failure to criminalize sex work itself has raised questions regarding the government’s objective behind current sex work laws. On their face, Canadian sex work laws seem to be focused on reducing or abolishing prostitution. However, the courts have rejected this characterization in light Parliament’s deliberate decision not to make the practice itself illegal.  Instead, courts have held that Canada’s sex work laws are designed to prevent public nuisances, such as street solicitation, and more importantly, the exploitation of vulnerable women. 
While it may have been considered appropriate in the past for the state to involve itself in the private sexual affairs of consenting adults, this is no longer the case. Canadians no longer consider the government imposing sexual morality on the public a legitimate state objective. Sexual autonomy has become an inviolable right of all persons.   
However, public nuisance concerns and protection against the risks that emanate from sex work remain legitimate state objectives. In this regard, sex work laws have largely failed to live up to their purpose. The personal and societal harms these laws create are vastly disproportionate to the objectives they pursue. By prohibiting sex workers from using indoor locations such as their residence, hiring assistants and security, and adequately screening potential clients, they are prevented from taking reasonable steps to ensure their safety, and in certain instances, are forced into exploitative relationships. There is perhaps no more gruesome illustration of the dangers of these laws than the crimes of Robert Pickton, who methodically preyed on sex workers from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
This was the view of the law taken by the Ontario Court of Appeal back in March of 2012. In that decision, the Court was unanimous in declaring the laws prohibiting bawdy houses and living on the avails of prostitution unconstitutional. To remedy the problem, the Court “read out” references to prostitution in the bawdy house provision, and circumscribed the living on the avails provision so as to only apply “in circumstances of exploitation”. If a manager or bodyguard was earning a living from revenues generated by sex workers and those sex workers were not operating in a state of exploitation, then the business arrangement would no longer run afoul of the law. 
Interestingly, the Court—with the exception of one dissenting opinion—did not find the communication provision unconstitutional. This provision, it is argued, stunts a sex worker’s ability to adequately screen clients, thereby exposing the sex worker to undue risk. However, the Court was not satisfied, based on the evidence before it, that the communication prohibition was a “dominant, or even a significant, factor among the many social, economic, personal and cultural factors that combine to place survival sex workers at significant risk on the street.”
The Supreme Court has, as it usually does, a challenging job before it. The Ontario Court of Appeal is one of Canada’s most highly regarded appellate courts and it has again produced a well-reasoned, highly detailed and thorough treatment of the law that spans nearly one hundred pages. One problem, however, that may trouble the Supremes is the Court of Appeal’s conclusion with respect to the public communication provision. With a strongly written dissent from a highly regarded judge, expect the issue to occupy considerable space in the eventual Supreme Court judgment.
What makes the Supreme Court’s task all the more difficult is that it must grapple with yet another difficult social question. Just like abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage before it, the Bedford case will invariably polarize some elements of Canadian society. Despite one’s moral qualms about the practice of prostitution, the fact remains that, until Parliament decides otherwise, it is a lawful enterprise. While we can wrangle over where the line should be drawn when it comes to legitimately regulating public nuisance, the law should most certainly not cause harm to the very constituency it purports to safeguard. 

Avnish Nanda and Stephen Neil are J.D. Candidates at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Ontario. Avnish currently works at a law firm in Calgary and Stephen at a law firm in downtown Toronto. 

. . . → Read More: Straight Outta Edmonton: Bedford Challenge to Canada’s Prostitution Laws

Straight Outta Edmonton: Bedford Challenge to Canada’s Prostitution Laws

Prostitution is legal in Canada. There are no laws prohibiting the sale of sex.  However, criminal prohibitions on bawdy houses (such as brothels), living on the avails of prostitution, and communicating in public for the purposes of prostitution make almost all forms of sex work illegal. Out-call work, where sex workers meet clients in . . . → Read More: Straight Outta Edmonton: Bedford Challenge to Canada’s Prostitution Laws

bastard.logic: QOTD: Rethinking Sex-Positivity & Sex Work

Audacia Ray:

If we put aside our attachment to the sex positive construction of sex work, we will certainly hear things that will be hard to sit with. But for sex positivity to be a useful framework, one that encourages the pursuit of social justice, it must also engage with the ugly pieces of . . . → Read More: bastard.logic: QOTD: Rethinking Sex-Positivity & Sex Work