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Feminism and porn ruling

Kathleen Toth
Issue: September 1999

John Robin Sharpe is a 65-year-old homosexual and retired city planner whose writings have been published in gay magazines such as Passport and Sodomite Invasion Review. He was stopped by Canada Customs in 1994 as he crossed the border with copies in his luggage of stories he had written. Later, the police raided his apartment, seizing 14 boxes of manuscripts, books, and photographs of nude adolescents. Acting as his own lawyer, Sharpe was able to convince B.C. Supreme Court Justice Duncan Shaw in 1998 to strike down part of Canada's law against the possession of erotic stories and images involving minors. B.C.'s Attorney General launched an appeal hoping to reverse the bombshell court ruling after a great hue and cry was raised throughout Canada by citizens and politicians of several parties. But instead, the Appeal Court ruled 2:1 in Sharpe's favour. On July 8, 1999 the Attorney General of B.C. filed a notice of appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Feminist judges
There is a certain predictability to what has happened and the situation will only get worse if the appointment of judges is left to the power brokers who advise the Prime Minister. This is not only so in British Columbia but elsewhere in Canada as well.

When the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, with feminist members such as Maureen McTeer, Chaviva Hosek, Doris Anderson, Lorna Marsden, et al., was created during the Trudeau regime, funding was obtained for the creation and ongoing maintenance of Canadian Women and the Law. Although the rationale was to help equalize the number of women entering law schools, it became a powerful union of female lawyers who effectively culled out those who would not support their pro-abortion, pro homosexual agenda. All female law graduates were approached to become members, but those who would not accept this agenda were rejected.

This government-funded organization is the pool for future judges. Recommendations of suitable candidates are made to the Prime Minister. Of course, anyone who is not a member of Canadian Women and the Law is not suitable, so pro-life women lawyers will never be eligible for appointment to the judiciary as long as this situation continues. Judgements will continue to favour the special interest groups because the female judiciary has been carefully sculpted to do just that. The appointment of Madam Justice Arbour to the Supreme Court of Canada is one example. Here are some B.C. examples.

Justice Anne Rowles

Madam Justice Anne Rowles was one of the guest speakers at the third annual Women in Law: The Practice of Feminism Conference held at the University of Victoria in March. She wrote the dissenting opinion in the Trinity Western University appeal, disagreeing with her male colleagues who ruled that there was no discrimination against homosexuals by the University (see Catholic Insight, October '98, p. 22).

Justice Mary Saunders

Although unrelated to the Sharpe decision, Justice Mary Saunders of the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in the fall of 1998 that the Surrey School Board was not permitted to ban three kindergarten books featuring same sex couples because the objections expressed by parents and trustees were based on religious beliefs. Therefore they were invalid, she ruled, because schools should be free from religion, above all, apparently, from the religion of parents and students concerning sodomy. I mention this to illustrate the mindset of many female judges (see Catholic Insight, March Ž99, p. 32; April, p. 6).

Justice Mary Southin Why then should we be surprised that the two female B.C. Court of Appeal judges, Mary Southin and Anne Rowles, would uphold the lower court ruling on the legality of John Robin Sharpe's possessing child pornography? Chief Justice Allan McEachern in his dissenting judgement expressed the same concerns most Canadians have for the protection of children from pedophiles and perverts. He argued the law should stand.

Mothers find the appeal court decision almost incomprehensible. This is not to say that fathers aren't baffled by the logic of Justices Southin and Rowles, but somehow we expect more from women who are or could be mothers. Feminism's legacy is so entrenched in the judicial system that Canadians' only recourse is to invoke Section 33 (the notwithstanding clause) of the Charter of Rights. This Žoverride clause' provides us with a way of overruling Supreme Court decisions. Canadians should be thankful to Premiers Peter Lougheed and Stirling Lyon for their foresight in providing us with this safety valve back in 1982. Would that leaders had the courage to use it to-day.  

Kathleen Toth writes from Abbotsford, B.C.

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