OTTAWA (Reuters) – Group sex between consenting adults is neither
prostitution nor a threat to society, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled
on Wednesday, dismissing arguments that the sometimes raucous
activities of so-called “swingers” clubs were dangerous.
In a ruling that radically changes the way Canadian courts determine
what poses a threat to the population, the court threw out the
conviction of a Montreal man who ran a club where members could have
group sex in a private room behind locked doors.
“Consensual conduct behind code-locked doors can hardly be supposed
to jeopardize a society as vigorous and tolerant as Canadian society,”
said the opinion of the seven-to-two majority, written by Chief Justice
“Criminal indecency or obscenity must rest on actual harm or a
significant risk of harm to individuals or society. The Crown failed to
establish this essential element of the offence. The Crown’s case must
therefore fail,” wrote McLachlin.
In indecency cases, Canadian courts have traditionally probed
whether the acts in question “breached the rules of conduct necessary
for the proper functioning of society”. The Supreme Court ruled that
from now on, judges should pay more attention to whether society would
The judges said that just because most Canadians might disapprove of
swingers’ clubs, this did not necessarily mean the establishments were
“Attitudes in themselves are not crimes, however deviant they may be
or disgusting they may appear,” the judges said, noting that no one had
been pressured to have sex or had paid for sex in either of the cases.
“The autonomy and liberty of members of the public was not affected
by unwanted confrontation with the sexual activity in question only
those already disposed to this sort of sexual activity were allowed to
participate and watch,” they said.
I won’t be going to Canada anytime soon even if Barb said I could
do some “field research”. They may have figured out sex between
consenting adults isn’t a threat to society at large but they haven’t
figured out that someone that carries a handgun for person protection
and hasn’t ever committed any crime worse that going 10 or 15 MPH over
the speed limit isn’t a threat either. But this is a step away
from the Nanny State. I wish the fiscal conservatives in this
country would realize that being a Nanny State isn’t just about
refusing to let people spend their own money however they think is
best. It’s also a Nanny State that tells individuals they can’t
fry their brains with recreational drugs, marry the person of their
choice, or play a group game of belly bump.