Toronto Police to Attend Gay Sensitivity Training
Television Network, December 17, 2004
P.O. Box 9, Station ‘O,’ Scarborough
Ontario, Canada M4A 2M9
By CTV.ca 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
“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
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.
[Home] [World] [Canada]