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Gay and Lesbian Law Journal

Abstract from Volume 10 (2002)

The Harms of Gay Male Pornography: A Sex Equality Perspective Post Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium

Christopher N Kendall

The case of Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium, argued before the Supreme Court of Canada in 2000, provided the Court with its first opportunity to consider whether the analysis set out by it in R v Butler - a 1992 case in which the Court identified the harm of pornography as the harm of sex inequality - applies to pornography that presents same-sex sexual acts or that is intended for a gay or lesbian audience. The Court held that it does. Examining the specific materials defended in Little Sisters as harm-free, Kendall offers support for the Court's finding, arguing that gay male pornographic materials reinforce those social attitudes that create systemic inequality on the basis of sex and sexual orientation - misogyny and homophobia alike - by sexually conditioning gay men to those attitudes and practices. The end result is harm to individuals who are rendered inferior, vulnerable and unequal on the basis of gender. Kendall uses the Little Sisters case as a way of encouraging a much broader community debate about gay male identity and those legal strategies aimed at promoting it.

(2002) 10 G&LLJ 43
Keywords: Gay Pornography

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