R v Glad Day Bookshops Inc

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R v Glad Day Bookshops Inc, (2004) is a leading Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision on pornography and homosexuality. The court found that a statutory scheme requiring the approval of the Ontario Film Review Board before films can be distributed or shown in Ontario violated the guarantee of freedom of expression in section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


Bad Attitude is a lesbian magazine featuring stories of mild sado-masochism; it is published in the United States. In 1993 the magazine was the first publication to fall foul of feminist-inspired pornography laws in Canada.

According to the court's description, the magazine

consists of a series of articles where the writers fantasize about lesbian sexual encounters with a sadomasochistic theme. Photographs loosely complement some of the articles.

A story in the magazine featuring a lesbian stalking, ambushing and pleasuring another woman was found to be obscene, and the Glad Day Bookshop, which sold the investigating officer her copy, was fined C$200.

Opinion of the Court[edit]


The case was symbolic for pornography advocates, who at the time were trying to demonstrate that the arguments of anti-porn feminists Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin were antithetical to women's interests. MacKinnon and Dworkin had provided arguments for new obscenity law in Canada; in this case the law disproportionately limited the voices of gay and lesbian writers, and even led to the impounding of two titles written by Dworkin.

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