In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of Canada lifted a ban on swingers’ clubs, ruling that group sex among consenting adults is neither prostitution nor a threat to society, reports Reuters. The ruling sparked outrage, largely in English-speaking parts of Canada, where critics said it would erode limits on indecency or obscenity, encourage prostitution and even contribute to the corruption of minors. In the mainly French-speaking and predominantly Catholic province of Quebec, however, the decision caused barely a ripple of adverse reaction. Newspaper editorialists fumed in Toronto but largely yawned in Montreal.
Swingers across Canada cheered the ruling, especially those in Quebec, where adherents go to clubs not only to meet others like them but also to have sex on the premises. For sex club owner Jean-Paul Labaye, the ruling is vindication after a seven-year court battle that began with a 1998 police raid in which he and 40 of his patrons were arrested for being in a bawdy house. Labaye, a portly and jovial 46-year-old native of France, said swingers celebrated the Supreme Court victory with a late-night party at his club, L’Orage.