They divided evenly on whether to have breakfast or luncheon at next year’s Canadians for Decency (CFD) convention, but one thing they were not divided on was their undisguised hatred of pornography.

“Bill C54, the anti-pornography bill now before the house is not dead,” insisted Willowdale MP John Oostrom, who spoke to over 250 delegates at the sixth annual Canadians for Decency Convention on March 26, at the Prince Hotel in Toronto.  “We will have to compromise,” he added, “but a bill dealing with violence against women and children could be brought in by June.”

Nancy Pollock, CFD president and longtime foe of pornography, stated in an interview that such compromise legislation would only discourage the distribution of hard-core pornography dealing with violence towards women, sexual abuse of children, and other generally unacceptable forms of depravity.  IT would not eliminate Playboy or Penthouse or hundreds of other magazines, easily obtainable in stores.  These would be listed under erotica, which would still be permissible. She described this proposed new bill as somewhat toothless.

Pat Marshall, executive director of the Metro Action Committee on Public Violence against Women and Children, was the keynote speaker.  Marshall decried the attitude of many people towards rape.  She said they have been desensitized by soft-core pornography, which frequently leads to hard-core pornography.  She cited Linda Lovelace’s life story that Linda wrote, of being controlled, manipulated and brutalized by a pimp, to the point where she had to ask his permission to go to the bathroom.  He would then spy on her through a peephole.  He forced her into her only starring role in the movie Deep Throat.  Linda was quoted as saying, “When you watch Deep Throat it is like seeing me being raped.”

Marshall was angry at Simpson’s store in Toronto for a window display that showed naked mannequins hung up with ropes around their necks.  As a concession to public protest, panty hose was then used to hang dismembered pieces of mannequins in the store windows.

She warned that the pornographic lobby, allied with the arts community, is putting $900,000 into a well-financed and shrewdly fought battle to defeat Bill C54.

Dolina Smith, an executive with Canadians for Decency, stated that the 7/11 Chain took a great stand when they removed all pornographic books from their stores.  She urged all delegates to boycott all stores, which continue to sell pornography.  CFD’s goals should be to get Bill C54 even if modified, past second reading, she said.

Dolan also claimed soft pornography was being taught in our schools via the compulsory AIDS programne and said that a 12-year-old boy, with whom she was acquainted, was subjected to a course dealing with anal sex, homosexuality and masturbation.

Fred Speaks, chairman of a new and lively CFD chapter in Brantford, Ontario, spoke of great strides being made fighting the spread of pornography in their community.  They were able to get front page publicity in their local battle against pornography when they revealed that a task force with an interest in promoting pornography was often being consulted by stores about what constituted pornography.

Brantford was undated with pornography, Mr. Speaks said, and it had to be cleaned out of factories and stores through a subtle persuasion programme.  Now, 24 Brantford stores have removed pornography from their stores and proudly support “pornography free” decals.  Mr. Speaks claimed that the presence of so much pornography had been responsible for a 260 per cent increase in sex crimes in Brantford in the past five years.

Ulma Lee, a Korean spokeswoman, said that pornographic material should be stopped before it is distributed.  Storekeepers are forced to stock pornography and are threatened with retaliation if they don’t cooperate.  She urged that these storeowners not be picketed.

Reverend Hudson Hilsden, coordinator of social concerns for the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, paid tribute to the tremendous efforts of many federal MPs in the fight against pornography, and especially congratulated John Oostrom whom he described as a “light to the world.”

Christians have never said that sex is dirty, he insisted.  On the contrary, Christianity values sex as the loving bond between a man and a woman and even non-violent pornography de-emphasizes these values.

He believes that supporting Bill C54 is not a high priority among many people.  However, he urged all delegates to write letters to the Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and all the MPs.  One letter, he said, represents two hundred people who do not write.  He urged his audience to contact their own ministers in their own churches to take a stand.  Ministers, he said, are a bit like politicians and they need to be pressured.  Through prayers, Reverend Hilsden said, “we can expect God to win for us and for our children.