An Interchurch Committee on Pornography is pressuring Justice Minister John Crosbie not to accept parts of the 1985 Fraser Report on Pornography and Prostitution. The report proposes strong measures against child pornography and violence against women. But it proposes to make all other explicit hard-core pornography legal.
Rev. Hudson Hilsden, who represents the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, is chairman of the Committee which includes Free Methodists, Mormons, Anglicans, The Apostolic Church of Canada, Baptists, Church of God, 100 Huntley Street, Elim Evangelicals and Roman Catholics.
In an interview by the Toronto Star (January 4, 1986), Hilsden pointed out that while the Fraser recommendations accept violence against women and child pornography as guides for anti-pornographic legislation, they propose to leave just about everything else legal under the heading of “erotica.”
In a March 3, 1986 pastoral letter to all parishes, Toronto’s Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter points out that this will make “the most degrading, explicit hard-core pornography legal.” Quoting the Fraser report itself, legal pornography will include:
Visual pornographic material in which is depicted vaginal, oral or and intercourse, masturbation, lewd touching of the breasts or the genital parts of the body or lewd exhibition of the genitals.”
The Interchurch Committee, basing itself on the “three tiers” proposals of the Fraser Committee would like to see the following:
- That any legislation prohibiting child pornography cover simulated as well as explicit sexual behaviour, and that it include any representation of anyone who is or appears to be a minor as a sexual object.
- That the second tier include explicit sexual behaviour, formerly called hard-core, such as anal or vaginal penetration, masturbation, ejaculation, oral sex and sexual use of other bodily functions such as urination, defecation and vomiting, and portrayal of pregnancy, lactation or menstruation as objects of ridicule or for sexual gratification, along with sexual violence, bestiality, necrophilia and incest.
- That the only defense available with reference to material in the second tier be a demonstrable contribution of the public good.
- That the community standard continue to be applied in local areas.
- That penalties be increased so as to constitute an effective sanction.
- That a task force of representatives of the Customs Service, the RCMP, of provincial organizations such as Project P., and a film review board be struck to facilitate a common, integrated approach to implementation of the legislation.
(For a better understanding of the Fraser proposals, see The Interim articles “540 Pornographic Magazines in Canada,” March 1985, p.10; and “Fraser’s Follies,” June 1985, p.1,2).
The Interchurch Committee on Pornography may be contacted at P.O. Box 637, Station “B” Willowdale, ON M2K 2P9.