2011 Halifax Pride Parade Signs

NSRAP has participated in the Halifax Pride Parade for several years. It is an important opportunity to remind community members of the work we do. For us, Pride is a time to be activist and political, as well as to celebrate!

Our 2011 theme is Sexually Activist; our signs will focus on sexual liberation and laws relating to sex.   As usual, we want our signs to feel like old-school protests signs that you could see at any queer rights rally from the last 40 years.

Take a look at our signs below and why each one was chosen:

Legalize Anal Sex sign Legalize Anal Sex Most people’s first response to this sign will be—is this a joke? Anal sex is illegal? But read s.159 of the Criminal Code:  “Every person who engages in an act of anal intercourse is guilty of an indictable offence …”There are defences, which are problematic too (more on that later.) But, as a starting point, does Canada in 2011 need a law criminalizing anal sex?  We think not.
Equal Age of Consent Equal Age of Consent  More about anal sex. Luckily, the criminal law says that anal sex isn’t illegal *if* there’s valid consent.But not so fast. “Valid consent” means something different for anal sex than for any other sexual activity.  For example, you have to be 18 to consent to anal sex—but only 16 for any other kind of sex.What is it about anal sex that our government thinks requires a higher age of consent?

 

2's company, 3's a crime? Legalize 3somes Legalize Threesomes – Two’s Company … Three’s a Crime?  Still on anal sex. The weirdest part of the law is that your consent is invalid if there are more than two participants—or even another person in the room. Again, that doesn’t apply to any other kind of sex. Add to that s.293—the polygamy law—which says it’s a crime to enter “any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time,” even if it’s NOT a marriage. You can quickly see that the Criminal Code has an odd fixation about threesomes.  And we think it’s none of the state’s business. 
Sex Ed 4 All Sex Ed For All  When the government of Ontario tried to  introduce a new sex-ed curriculum—the current one is 15 years old—religious conservatives forced them to shelve the plans.  Healthy sex education is, apparently, pandering to that terrible “gay agenda”.When governments can’t stand up to homophobes, school kids suffer. Which means, we all suffer. 
Don't Censor Queer Sex Don’t Censor Queer Sex  Censorship can be formal—like lesbian erotica or gay feature films getting stopped at the border for “obscenity”. Or it can be informal—like a local sex & bookstore having an ad pulled by a newspaper for showing a vibrator.  However it happens, censorship reinforces unhealthy attitudes towards sex, and queer communities suffer as a result.
Reform Sex Work Laws Reform Sex Work Laws  Whether you think prostitution should be legal or not, it’s clear that Canada’s current laws aren’t working.  They create an unhealthy and unsafe environment for women and men who work in the trade.  If our lawmakers could talk rationally about sex, we could have a real debate about how to protect people from exploitation. Until then, we will continue to have nonsensical, harmful laws like we have now. 
End Violence Against Sex Workers End Violence Against Sex Workers  There has been a rash of violence against sex workers in Halifax.  You don’t hear enough about it, because sex work happens under a shroud of secrecy.  If our society had fewer taboos about sex, it would be easier for sex workers to seek protection and support, and harder for perpetrators of violence to get away with it. 
End Bathhouse Raids End Bathhouse Raids  Bathhouses are places where gay men (and sometimes women too!) seek out sex. As such, they have historically been the target of police raids, usually with no good legal basis.  Rallies in response to such raids were among the first major gay-rights protests in this country. While raids are rarer now, we can’t forget our history or we may be doomed to repeat it. 
Smooch With Pride Smooch With Pride  Who can object to good old-fashioned smooching?  But in the last while, there have been several instances of same-sex couples getting into trouble for kissing—whether in a cab, in a bar, or elsewhere.  We at NSRAP support your right to smooch with abandon! 
Make Love Not Babies Make Love Not Babies  First off, we’re not anti-baby. We love babies!But the idea that sex is all about procreation lies at the heart of a lot of sexual repression.  So this cheeky sign is a reminder to everyone—there’s more to sex than baby-making!

 

© 2011 Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project | Site Admin