July/August, 1982, No. 85

Danny Cockerline

p. 10.

New charges on washroom beat

Two police officers charged a gay man with "lingering on TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) property without due cause" at 1:15 am June 9, when they decided he had overstayed his welcome in a subway restroom at Yonge and Bloor.

The accused, who faces a maximum fine of $500 if convicted, says he left the Quest, a Yonge St gay bar, at 1:00 am, wlked to the subway where he entered the washroom, urinated, then walked to a wall to lean for a second or two. "I'd only been standing there about 30 seconds when the police came in," he said.

Another man who had been standing in the washroom was also taken away by the police, according to the accused.

The charge is based on a TTC bylaw and is not a Criminal Code offence. The man's lawyer, Harry Hamburg, thinks the police have "just cottoned on to the possibility of using this charge" to harass people in the washrooms even if they aren't having sex."

The accused attributes the charge to the "Let's-get-the-queers-with-whatever-we-can" attitude of some police officers. "I'm very annoyed about the whole thing because the inference is that I was doing something more than lingering."

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Created: January 12, 1997
Last modified: July 2, 1997

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