Bath Raid Divides Calgary Gays
January 25, 2003
By Rich Peters, Western Canada Bureau Chief
Calgary, Alberta—Seven of the 18 men charged after
policed raided Calgary’s only bathhouse have pleaded not guilty. The others
entered guilty pleas in a court appearance this week. They’ll be allowed to
take part in alternate measures and avoid criminal records.
The December 12, 2002 raid and the mixed pleas entered by the defendants
have divided the city’s gay community. About two dozen gays waving white
towels protested the raid on Goliath’s Sauna outside the courthouse.
"We’re here to show support for the people who were arrested—so
that they know the community is behind them and so that we can move forward
from this point," said Keith Purdy, co-chairman of Pride Calgary.
"We’re very concerned about what might happen in terms of further
action," he said.
One protestor, David Bennett, said: "An injury to one is an injury to
all. We want to talk about the fact these men’s lives have been
But, other organizations have refused to participate in opposing the
Charges after raids on bathhouses in Toronto in 1981 were dismissed. Since
then charges laid under the seldom used bawdy house laws have been dismissed
in other cities.
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