Last edited: December 18, 2004

Toronto Police to Attend Gay Sensitivity Training

CTV Television Network, December 17, 2004
P.O. Box 9, Station ‘O,’ Scarborough
Ontario, Canada M4A 2M9

By News Staff

Gay sensitivity will be a requirement for all Toronto police officers as the fallout continues from a raid on a lesbian bathhouse four years ago.

The training in gay sensitivity will be required for all current—and future—Toronto police officers, from the newest constables to the chief of police.

On top of that, the Toronto force will also have to pay $350,000 to a group of lesbian complainants, The Globe and Mail reported Friday. The money will cover legal fees and go to specific charities.

The Toronto Police Services board approved the plan on Thursday.

“It feels like the end of a very long journey,” said J.P. Hornick, one of the complainants, told the Globe and Mail.

“It has been a grueling process. On a personal level, I would have to use the word vindication.”

The case that made headlines in Toronto—and across Canada—began on Sept. 14, 2000.

A special event for more than 300 lesbians was in full swing at a downtown bathhouse when two female police officers slipped inside to check for possible liquor violations.

The two then quickly called in five male officers and the place was raided.

The officers allegedly entered private rooms and areas where the patrons’ nudity was most evident.

Complainants alleged their feelings of violation and intimidation were akin to being strip-searched.

“The larger battle here is for the police to understand the community they serve,” Hornick told the Globe and Mail.

“That is the most important and exciting part for me.”

After the raid, a group called The Toronto Women’s Bathhouse Committee was formed. It then began a human rights complaint and several members launched a $1.5 million class-action lawsuit.

Both that complaint and the lawsuit will be dropped, in light of Thursday’s announcement.

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