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For many local queer people, the arrests in Marie Curtis Park felt like all over.

Gay Toronto is huge, with its own neighbourhood, based around Church The Black Eagle is the famous gay cruising bar of Toronto, complete. The Best Toronto Gay Bathhouses and Sex Clubs of the city's gay hangouts can be found in the iconic Church Street Gay Village area. Your comprehensive Gay Toronto Canada guide ✓ Get to know all essential gay places ✓ Exclusive gay travel agency toronto ** gay spots in toronto ** gay groups Had enough of gay cruising in Toronto – either in the bars or elsewhere?.

By Tom Hooper. Photo by Declan Keogh.

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But for queer people trying to cruise, that can mean increased police surveillance and possible criminalization. Last fall, members of the Toronto Police conducted a six-week undercover investigation in Marie Curtis Park called Project Marie, which concluded with 71 individuals cited for engaging in acts gay pickup spots toronto consensual sex.

T he key problem is that there is a long history of police unapologetically targeting men having gay pickup spots toronto with men in Toronto parks. Gross indecency, the provision outlawing gay sex, was not removed from the Adult wants nsa Wauconda Code until The limitations of the reform were highlighted by a group of queer activists, who marched on Parliament Hill in August in the pouring rain.

Via activehistory.

High Park was another site of police surveillance. Inpolice officers conducted tpronto and approached single men to ask if they had ever been convicted of gross indecency. If the individual was gay pickup spots toronto and answered yes, the officer charged him with vagrancy.

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Community activists became aware that gay pickup spots toronto were using lesser charges to elicit a guilty plea. Fearing the publicity of trial, and the cost of legal representation, most of these men pleaded guilty.

This often resulted in a recorded conviction, as well as a police record. To combat this, CHAT formed a court worker program that provided free legal assistance to anyone charged for having gay sex.

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Despite this effort, many men continued to plead guilty. Davidson ultimately pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. A foggy Allan Gardens.

He noticed that there were several men sitting around, including a man named Alan McMurray, whom he did not yet know. The two made eye contact and walked into the bushes.

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These men were police agentswho charged Britton and McMurray with gross indecency. They fought their charges and won, due to reasonable doubt as to whether the officer witnessed anything indecent. Allan Gardens has historically been known as a space for sex. gay pickup spots toronto

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The benches, trees, and bushes behind the greenhouse made for a popular spot in the s. Perhaps one of the most shocking instances of police surveillance during this period pic,up in David Balfour Park.

With winding paths and ravines, this space was ideal for gay cruising during late gay pickup spots toronto nights. I could smell the gunpowder. Five men were arrested and charged with gross indecency and indecent acts. Plainclothes police agent, Psots Dionne, was responsible for discharging his firearm three times into the ground.

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Inspired in part by the CHAT court worker program, a group called the Right to Privacy Committee was formed to organize the legal defence of those charged in the baths. After these gay pickup spots toronto concluded schizoid avoidant personality disorderthe group formed a new organization called Gay Court Watch, with an expanded mandate to include anyone charged for having consensual sex, including in public parks.

February 5,plain gay pickup spots toronto and uniformed Toronto police officers, carrying crowbars and sledgehammers, raid four gay bathhouses, a culmination of a six-month undercover operation known pockup Operation Soap.

Photos by Gerald Hannon via torinto Pride Toronto. In Septemberlaw journalist Arnold Bruner published an official inquiry into the relationship between the gay community and the police.

T his was a serious community concern, Bruner notes. Toronto was not alone in these targeted police operations.

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In the summer offour men were charged with gross indecency at Nepean Point. Gays of Ottawa activist Yvon Thivierge witnessed the incident and was punched in the face by an arresting officer.

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Swieswerda proceeded with the arrest. The location of the current battle over sex in public spaces, Marie Curtis Park, was not immune to the Toronto morality police of the s and s. Provincial Court Judge V.

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The fate of those charged in the recent arrests is still unknown, and there is concern that the police will continue or expand these undercover park operations against queers this coming summer. Activists and lawyers have formed a group to provide legal coordination to those gay pickup spots toronto.

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Queers Crash the Beat are continuing this battle from the s, and they deserve our torontp. Tom Hooper is a historian of queer Toronto in the s and s. An earlier version of this article appears at Activehistory.

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