Alex Blaze

Canada is still prosecuting people under its sodomy law

Filed By Alex Blaze | February 23, 2010 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: buggery, Canada, sexual assault, sodomy

A former chaplain's been charged with buggery, the equivalent of sodomy, in Canada:

Now the retired chaplain faces a basket of charges, including sexual assault.

Bazin was also charged with buggery, a now-abolished law, a fact that has alarmed gay activists.

"Certainly, you wonder why they're using that," says Richard Hudler, one of a clutch of seasoned gay activists working with the newly-formed Queer Ontario.

The solution to anyone with a brain is simple: charge the man with sexual assault if that's what he did, not buggery. Are they going to hunt down every man who had a sexual relationship with another before the buggery law was repealed? That'd make for a nice homophobic witch hunt.

It reminds me of the case of the British man who couldn't get a buggery charge lifted from his record, even though he was tortured to confession in 1959. But the Xtra article had another bit about sodomy laws that just won't die that was interesting:

He suspects that Bazin's lawyer will petition to have the buggery charge dropped. He says that in the 1990s, men were charged with breaching an anal sex law that had been ruled unconstitutional. But because men didn't know they could challenge the law, police used it to leverage longer prison sentences and as a weapon during plea-bargaining.

"Most of the people who were charged didn't know that it had been found unconstitutional and some plead guilty," says Hudler.

That's a special message to all those people who think that police are just responding to neighborhood complaints when they set up stings in public parks and then lie about what the men there were doing and railroad people into signing confessions: a lot of the police involved in arresting men for having sex with men are just homophobic and don't care at all about the law.

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Hi Mr Conclusion, let me jump to you!

Sorry Alex, but that is a pretty sweeping statement to not have any qualifiers. Not all policemen are homophobes, hell some are even gay, and they still arrest people for having sex in public, or for cruising for sex because it is, after all, illegal. Police always believe it is best to charge people with as many crimes as possible hoping to get something to stick.

Wait, you're saying police should prosecute this guy for buggery "because it is, after all, illegal" even though it isn't illegal? That doesn't make sense.

Wasn't it North Carolina that recently tried to charge someone with sodomy? A couple of states still have sodomy laws on the books even though it's been ruled unconstitutional.

A number of states apparently still have related offenses on the books, such as "crimes against nature," which is commonly used to prosecute sex workers (for oral and/or anal sex) in Louisiana and have them added to the sex offender registry, for example.

Mr. Bugger | April 15, 2011 8:18 PM

I am a bugger, meaning I enjoy having anal sex, in fact, with males and females. Buggery is the shit, sometimes litteraly!