Gay bookstore asks for funding as court fight against book seizures continues

Anonymous Patron writes "This Article Reports a Vancouver, BC, gay book store is asking the Canadian courts to fund its next case.
Mark Macdonald, spokesman for Little Sister's Book and Art Emporium, said the store has spent more than $500,000 fighting against seizures deemed to be obscene. The store is now fighting seizures of a series of adult comics entitled The Meatmen. "The Meatmen comics are not obscene," Macdonald said. "They are gay male erotica and it has to do with (sadomasochistic) practices. They're certainly not for everybody's tastes and we've never insinuated that they are."

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Not again

Little Sisters has had to put up with so much crap. Why do I suspect that, once again, Canada Customs is targetting this particular vendor? In the past, LS has had shipments of "The Joy of Gay Sex" seized and destroyed as pornography, when it was available down the street in the local big commercial bookstore chain.

Gay book Store

Canadian Customs has a responsibility to the general population. Gay life style is not universally accepted. As for freedom of expression, suppose a bookstore opened in a residential area and sold pornography, wouldn't we want the government to step in. Why is it that when a non-mainstream expression issue come to the surface there are cries for funding? Universal acceptance is a part of protection of freedom of expression.

Re:Gay book Store

The reason that Little Sisters is asking for funding is because the government's Court Challenges Program provides funding for "important cases that advance language and equality rights guaranteed under Canada's Constitution."

As to the issue of a bookstore in a residential area selling pornography, aside from the fact that Little Sister's is not in a residential area, why shouldn't a properly zoned bookstore sell pornography if it wants to? If there's no market for porn in the local area, then it will either fail commercially, or it will switch to material that will sell. If there is a market for porn in the local area, then I guess "community standards" are being satisfied.

And Canada Customs has a responsibility to act legally. They have been told, more than once, that they are not allowed to seize books at the border (can you say "prior restraint") without a judicial finding that the material is not suitable.

Re:Gay book Store

Canadian Customs has a responsibility to the general population.

Every government department has an overriding repsonsibility to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

wouldn't we want the government to step in.

No, because what I read is not any business of the government. And as long as the bookstore in question did not sell the pornographic material to minors, and kept it out of the view of minors, nobody would have any legal kick coming.

Universal acceptance is a part of protection of freedom of expression.

You've got that exactly backwards. Constitutional protections serve non-mainstream views more because those are the ones that need such protection. Nobody is trying to get the bible banned as pornographic despite all the sexual innuendoes and stories of rape, etc, etc, etc.

Welcome to Canada

I love this statement by djfiander: "And Canada Customs has a responsibility to act legally. They have been told, more than once, that they are not allowed to seize books at the border (can you say "prior restraint") without a judicial finding that the material is not suitable. "

Not suitable? Why does a judge get to decide what's suitable?
Welcome to Canada, a socialist's dream, a free man's nightmare.

Re:Welcome to Canada

Um... There are limits in the US too. They're just different from the limits in Canada. And be careful about talking about which countries rules are more relaxed. Canadian broadcast television includes naked breasts during prime time every week (City-TV's "Fashion Television", which also broadcasts free-to-air "baby-blue" soft porn movies every Friday night [well after my bedtime]). Why can't American networks broadcast what they want to?

Re:Welcome to Canada

Free naked boobies and soft porn.

Does anyone want to run this by the Kerry campaign??

Re:Welcome to Canada

There's a good chance that over time they will. Believe me, I'm familiar with Canada's broadcast rules. Growing up in Northern Maine I got CBS, PBS, and two Canadian stations. Benny Hill was a late night treat when the parents had gone to bed, speaking of breasts.

The issue here seems to be that the government is actually censoring something that deals with legal conduct. This isn't a child pornography bust.

Here in the US there are rules about public broadcast, something monitored by the government, but you can always get cable if you want, or buy a video. If the activity is legal then in this country you are free to read, watch, or listen to your hearts content.

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