A Ruling Inspired by US Anti-Pornography Activists is Used to Restrict Lesbian and Gay Publications in Canada

A campaign to curb pornography has backfired dangerously in Canada, leading not toward its ostensible goal of gender equality, but to a weakening of fundamental liberties for women and gay men. The cornerstone of this campaign is R. v. Butler, an anti-pornography decision issued by the Canadian Supreme Court in 1992 that sets forth a litmus test for determining obscenity and has been used to prosecute a lesbian magazine, to destroy books intended for gay consumers, and to confiscate an array of political and erotic works.