1 min

Bawdy buddies

Is Canada’s national queer lobby group getting sexier?

After spending the last couple of years with same-sex marriage as its highest profile activity, Egale Canada is making sex-positive moves.

Stephen Lock, who has been leading the charge against the Calgary police force since it raided Goliath’s bathhouse last December, has joined Egale’s board of directors.

“Stephen really distinguished himself by his incredibly hard work in Calgary around the Goliath’s raid,” says Gilles Marchildon, Egale’s executive director. “He’s someone who has non-traditional views and is certainly very sex-positive.”

As well, Egale is working with Terry Haldane, the only Goliath’s patron charged with being found in a common bawdy house who is fighting the charge. His court case will likely contain an attack on the constitutionality of Canada’s bawdy house laws, which prohibit “indecent” activities in places of business. They’re often used against gay bathhouses.

The group is helping Haldane and his lawyer apply for funding through the federal government’s Court Challenges Program, which will give a party up to $60,000 to fight an equality issue in court. Egale is also going to apply to intervene in the case and hopefully score up to $35,000 from the Court Challenges Program for that purpose.

“It is a case Egale is committed to supporting,” says John Fisher, Egale’s outgoing executive director. “There’s no basis for these kinds of laws that facilitate police intrusion into gay spaces.”

Marchildon admits that some sex-positive people may have stayed away from Egale in the past because they felt it was too conservative. But they should get involved now, he encourages, adding that Egale’s policies are largely shaped by its members.

“People don’t realize how easy it is to shape Egale’s policies,” he says.