Supreme Court Of Canada Reserves Judgment In Gay Bookstore Case

BabyBuddha

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Jan 18, 2006
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(Ottawa) The Supreme Court of Canada reserved judgment Wednesday in the case of a Vancouver gay and lesbian bookstore that wants Ottawa to pick up the legal tab for a lawsuit against Canada Customs.

The Little Sisters bookstore and art emporium won a partial victory six years ago over the way Customs handles imports of gay and lesbian books and magazines. But it says Customs is back to its same old ways and wants a court review of how the agency declares works to be obscene and bans their importation.
But the bookstore can't possibly finance the case itself, lawyer Joseph Avray told the justices.

The government says it might cost up to $2 million.
Avray said his law firm alone is on the hook for $200,000 for work already done.
``They are in no position to repay that.''

The suit says Customs discriminates against gay and lesbian material, holding up books at the border and banning some completely in arbitrary decisions.

The suit involves two comic books and two other books, but lawyers said thousands of other titles, as well as videos and DVDs, have been caught in the Customs net, with a single, mid-level bureaucrat as the final arbiter of obscenity.

A judge in the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that the government should pay costs up front for the suit, saying the case fit the requirements for such aid laid out in an earlier land-claims case from an impoverished native band.

She said Little Sisters addresses a matter of great public interest.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal disagreed, saying there was no major public interest at stake.

Brian McLaughlin, a lawyer for Customs, said the case is a minor one, even to the bookstore, with four books representing only a tiny fraction of its business.
He said there is no great risk to the national good if the case isn't heard.

``There must be a public benefit commensurate with the public expense,'' he said.
Avray, however, said this could be one of the biggest Charter cases of the decade.

``If Customs bans one book improperly, that should alarm all Canadians,'' he said. ``If they are banning thousands and thousands of books or video tapes or DVDs improperly and therefore trouncing on the constitutional rights of Canadians that is something that should alarm Canadians.

``That's something that should cause this court to consider this case to be of exceptional importance.''

A lawyer for Egale, which is an intervenor in the case, argued that the issue is central to the gay and lesbian community.

Government lawyers countered that by saying if it was so important, then why hasn't that community banded together to pay the bill?

Jim Deva, co-owner of Little Sisters, said outside the court that fundraisers have produced $30,000 to $40,000 for this case and $200,000 for anti-censorship campaigns in general.

``That's a lot of money,'' he said. ``We're a beleaguered community, we're under attack.

``We're back defending marriage again, for God's sake. We have to take our money and use it very carefully.''

The arguments drew pointed questions from the justices for both sides, which Avray saw as a good thing.

``I think they're thinking,'' he said after the hearing. ``I think they understand that this is a complex question.

``As they are wont to do, they like to explore it from all sides. They like to have their questions answered, they like to be helped with what's troubling them.
``They posed tough questions to all counsel.''

He said the suit would never have been filed if Customs had followed the last ruling and improved the way it makes obscenity decisions.

``The court's order last time around simply didn't have enough teeth and we're here to get a court order with plenty of teeth.''

by John Ward, Canadian Press


 
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Censorship is illegal isn't it. The Supreme court allows the sex clubs in Quebec to have gang bang Tuesdays and have legalized its activity ( heterosexuals are OK) but they ban books. Hitler's crews banned literature as well.
 

Black Mage

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Censorship is not illegal. All rights granted under the Charter can be taken away under S. 1 of the Charter and so long as they pass the Oakes Test. That's why it's been upheld to be constitutional to ban hate literature and some forms of obscene material that is not for strictly personal use.

Not taking a position with this, just stating the facts.
 
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Thanks for the information. Now is the time that those jack asses in the ACLU would come in handy for the book store owners.
 

Black Mage

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Sep 20, 2005
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What would the ACLU have to do with any of this? It's an american organization. The B.C. Civil Liberties Association was one of the original appelants and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association was one of the interveners on behalf of the Bookstore in the original case. What's at issue here is that Canadian Border Services is no longer living up to the obligations set out for them by the Supreme Court.
 
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Seeing as the Canadian equivalent of the ACLU can't seem to force the border to live up to its obligations set forth by the Supreme Court, then the ACLU would have been more effective at suing those breaking the law.
 

Black Mage

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Sep 20, 2005
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How does the CCLA have any responsibility for overseeing CBS? It's the responsibility of the government to abide by Supreme Court decisions and change policy accordingly. The CCLA has no power in and of itself to enforce policy, only to fight to change it. If CBS is violating Supreme Court edict, it does not behoove the CCLA to make CBS change it's policy, but rather bring that violation to light.
 
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OK so who should be in court making customs obey their court orders? Personally I don't give a rats **** if gay books or porn books were ever read, however, gay books are in no way as raunchy as Hustler or Playboy. I wonder if they have as much problem importing those two porn books as they do shipping in gay material which may be tastefully done and presented? I see it being an issue of discrimination.
 

BabyBuddha

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Jan 18, 2006
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I'm sorry, Mr. Hill, I understand it's painful, but soft tissue injury just doesn't show up on film.
 
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The Canadian customs are a joke. They can stop gay books and literature from crossing the border but they can't spot a terrorist! Helloo!
 

Lil'Jeffery34

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Sep 16, 2005
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God now they won't let them have bookstores!!!!! This is getting extremely ridiculous!!!!:angry4: :angry5: :angry9: :angry4:
 

Black Mage

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ANGLOIRISH said:
The Canadian customs are a joke. They can stop gay books and literature from crossing the border but they can't spot a terrorist! Helloo!
Well, I'm sure that if they started shipping terrorists in big boxes with big stickers and markings in abundance indicating what it is and where it is bound for, I'm sure our Border Guards would be certainly more than able to catch them. But alas, no, those wily terrorists resort to other methods such as smuggling and falsifying passports.
 
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The terrorists could tap dance past Canadian Customs and they would look the other way.
 
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Nothing. Canadians recognize gay marriages but go forbid one of them is literate and wants to read! Stopped at the border!
 
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They don't care about the terrorist, because they aren't going to blow up anything in their country. So whats with this I though Canadians were suppose to be more accepting?
 

BabyBuddha

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Jan 18, 2006
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In the movie Better Than Chocolate, they make fun of this entire issue with Custom's confiscating a copy of the book "Little Red Riding Hood". Custom's reason was they thought it was something else since it was a gay bookstore that ordered it.

Personally I don't see what the big deal is I see books for straight people at Chapter's bookstore or even Amazon....that are just as bad.

IE:

Daily Sex : 365 Positions & Activities For A Year Of Great Sex
[FONT=verdana,arial,helvetica][SIZE=-1]by Jane Seddon

Blow Him Away: How to Give Him Mind-Blowing Oral Sex
[FONT=verdana,arial,helvetica][SIZE=-1]by Marcy Michaels and Marie Desalle


[/SIZE][/FONT][/size][/font]
 

Venus

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Feb 24, 2006
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BabyBuddha said:
In the movie Better Than Chocolate, they make fun of this entire issue with Custom's confiscating a copy of the book "Little Red Riding Hood". Custom's reason was they thought it was something else since it was a gay bookstore that ordered it.

Personally I don't see what the big deal is I see books for straight people at Chapter's bookstore or even Amazon....that are just as bad.

IE:

Daily Sex : 365 Positions & Activities For A Year Of Great Sex
[FONT=verdana,arial,helvetica][SIZE=-1]by Jane Seddon
BabyBuddha said:
BabyBuddha said:

[FONT=verdana,arial,helvetica][SIZE=-1]
Blow Him Away: How to Give Him Mind-Blowing Oral Sex
[FONT=verdana,arial,helvetica][SIZE=-1]by Marcy Michaels and Marie Desalle


[/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/FONT]
I saw that book and it's the most retarded book I have seen. It's just absolutely ridiculous... not worth the $20 they are asking for it![/SIZE][/FONT]