At G20, Toronto Police Are Separating the Gays For ‘Their Own Safety’

While walking with his boyfriend to scope out the G20 protests, 18-year-old Dan Hamilton, a brand new Toronto resident who claims he was just a bystander near the riots, was arrested by police. After mentioning his boyfriend to a jail guard, the officer recommended they “act straight,” then moved the two into a smaller, more crowded cell just for … queers.

The police said it was “for their own safety,” but Hamilton seriously doubts it: “The entire group [of arrested people] was not homophobic whatsoever. The only people in that building who were homophobic were the police.”

Queer activists have protested the G20 summit to highlight gender, sexual and socioeconomic discrimination, but the Toronto police department’s segregation of LGBT riot suspects illustrates the very sort of discrimination they’re protesting against.

Also, it’s a freakin’ mess there. Clearly, the police are crazed. But if there’s a system in place to separate LGBTs from gen pop, it’s clear the separation is purposeful. Hamilton speaks of a group of detained persons already looking into a class action lawsuit, which is probably what police commanders probably thought their segregation could avoid.

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  • Joseph

    Why would people in Toronto care about being in a cell with gays? They were all liberal protesters. The whole thing was a mess. After seeing the broken windows on Yonge, I felt my heart sink. That wasn’t Torontoans doing that because they never would.

  • Dave

    @Joseph: I think by “people in here” he’s saying the police don’t like gays.

  • mike

    ….. And if they had placed them in common lock up and something had happened everyone would be screaming that they failed to protect him, and if you’re stupid enough to go hang out near a riot you deserve to get arrested anyway. There is enough real discrimination in the world without getting worked up over this.

  • Matt

    Joseph, I suspect that most of them weren’t Liberals (with a capital L).


    Each year the G20 summit protests turn out to be a violent clusterfuck. Seems like basicaly anarchists who revel in creating violent, nasty confrontations……. The Gays ain’t earning any good will by being part of them

  • Jadis

    @mike: Well, you know, in a non-police state, people actually have to break a law before they can be arrested. I know, I’m a crazy insane ideologue to dream of such a place.

  • mike

    @Jadis: Right…. and one day when we have our perfect homogenized utopia and mankind has put aside his devilish ways we shall have no need of police, much less police states…. did you really just call Canada a police state ….. But until that day, you just might, might, want to try to stay clear of destructive riots.

  • John

    And everyone here seems to be taking his comments at face value. Do you really think he’s telling the truth? If there are people willing to destroy corporations and public property (police cars, etc.) then I’m sure there are people willing to make videos painting a scene that’s much worse than it actually was. Think critically people.

  • Jadis

    @mike: If Canada arrests people arbitrarily without charge, then Canada is a police state, yes. You see, there are things called “laws,” you may have heard of them. Believe it or not, these “laws” actually apply to the police as well as citizens.

    I know, crazy eh? Back to the real world, where armed thugs beat and terrorize the citizenry, and everyone lives in fear, so that our masters can decide our fate in secret meetings inside their walled fortress.

    I didn’t see much of a riot, except for some kids breaking windows. That’s not a riot, that’s a temper tantrum. BFD.

  • Jadis

    @John: Yes I do think he’s telling the truth. Why shouldn’t I? Your argument seems to be “some people break windows, so we can assume some other unrelated people are lying.” Non sequitur.

  • mike

    @Jadis: Not a Riot, I would call anything that requires over six hundred arrests to be a little more than a quiet sit in.

    Are there bad cops, of course there are, but the vast, vast majority of police in this country and in Canada are incredibly loyal and patriotic men and women who agree to put their lives at risk everyday to protect the citizenry. If you don’t believe that you should swear to never call 911 and see how you fare on your own.

    Now as far as the actual arrest goes, who knows, but I’m guessing you may not have ever been on the receiving end of an angry mass of people. I have, and in a place where those people routinely resorted to violence and destruction. So let me tell you, in your ivory tower where the world is apparently black and white, that it is about one of the scariest things you can do. So is it possible the kid was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, maybe. But when you’re the guy trying to restore order to a chaotic and scary situation mistakes happen.

    oh and…. secret meetings… walled fortress…. really

  • Jadis

    @mike: I have never called 911 and likely never will. I figure it’s even odds that I would be beaten and murdered by the police for being a filthy “shim,” and quite frankly I’d prefer to take my chances on my own. The fact that the “good” cops don’t turn in the bad ones makes them ALL bad as far as I’m concerned.

    Yea, I live in a total ivory tower. What an ass you are. Are you a cop? You’re using cop logic when you say that since 600 people were arrested it was a riot. Because we all know that the police never make unwarranted arrests. They MUST have done something, or they wouldn’t have been arrested, right? You mindless authoritarians make me sick.

    And yeah, secret meetings and walled fortress — REALLY.

  • truthteller

    @ Mike

    “Are there bad cops, of course there are, but the vast, vast majority of police in this country and in Canada are incredibly loyal and patriotic men and women who agree to put their lives at risk everyday to protect the citizenry.”


    You are obviously not an ethnic minority in this country.

    Got links to studies that prove your opinion?

    Trying to imbue patriotic virtue to men and women who go into police work for a innumerable reasons, including a paycheck, benefits, power trips etc. is hysterically funny.

    Are there some who may have those beliefs? Perhaps. But to make a generalization when we have incredible amounts of corruption (LA) is ridiculous.

  • mike

    1. Store Fronts and Police cars burned or destroyed = Riot

    Somehow most minority groups manage to protest without doing these things. I wonder why they can’t. I love it when people scream about peace and fairness and then destroy private property.

    2. No I’m not a cop, I just decided a long time ago that, as did most of society, that anarchy is not the answer.

    3. I’m an Ass… no argument, how did you know. However I am an “Ass” who has spent the last 9 years of my life, 1 of them overseas to make sure you maintain your right to call me an Ass…. oh yea watch out big scary police state. Do me a favor go play dungeons and dragons and leave the rest to men who actually have the balls to put their lives on the line. Seriously if you had any real conviction in the nonsense your spewing you would have joined a commune somewhere by now.

    4. Is the world perfect? No. Is there an unbelievable amount of room for improvement? Yes. Do I pray every day that people like you never have a say in how to achieve that improvement? Yes.

    5. Really, where should they meet, on a blanket in the park surrounded by thousands of screaming lunatics… yea that makes sense.

    Lastly… Have you ever once selflessly given anything back to your country? Without hope of reward or personal benefit ..… I’m sure your reaping the benefits of living here….. I think we both know the answer to that

    Just do me a favor, if your going to get out raged, do it for something that matters, marriage, dadt ect ect

  • Jadis

    @mike: My country (in fact both of my two countries) deserve nothing from me. Nothing. Go fight your race wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by yourself. You’re part of the problem. I’m not receiving any benefits that I couldn’t have in many other parts of the world. Why don’t you move there then, I hear you cry. The answer is I did. I’ve moved around a lot all my life. In fact, you don’t know where I am now.

    You seem unable to distinguish a few window-smashers from everyone else who was there. Why is that? Nobody is arguing that they shouldn’t have been arrested. Not me, anyway. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not talking about them.

    Dungeons & Dragons, pfft. You’re the one playing toy soldiers. Big man.

    And sorry, my balls have been gone for some years now, down the incinerator where they belonged. Too late.

  • missanthrope

    “1. Store Fronts and Police cars burned or destroyed = Riot”

    By dudes who wearing Police-issued boots, the exact same kind as the cops who were “arresting” them were wearing also. Imagine that.

    Anyway, have a fun time with cheer leading fascists Mike.

  • mike

    Oh yes your right, it’s all one big conspiracy. you idiots are nothing but a drain on this country. If it’s so bad, then as you said yourself, get the fuck out. Pathetic…. I’m sure you would fit right in, in many other countries, I’ve been to a couple I can recommend, just don’t mention your gay or you will end up with your balls in your mouth and asshole glued shut.

  • alejandro

    i know ppl who this happend to! i was so pissed off when i found.

  • Jadis

    @mike: I would say you’re the drain on your country. Draining taxpayers’ money that could have been spent building things rather than destroying them.

    Of course, I’m just a lowly applied mathematician who has never taken a penny from government for anything that I have. As a productive, taxpaying citizen with one parking ticket as the sum total of my offenses, I am of course a drain solely purely by dint of my political views.

    That tapping noise in your head is the sound of your inner stereotypist working overtime. I can tell you that it’s a lot more than just so-called “anarchists” who are outraged by this.

    As to other issues, I can multitask. No point with marriage or DADT, because where I live right now there is already marriage equality and DADT never existed. So I can recommend some other countries where you can not only mention that you’re gay, but actually have full citizenship.

    Funny you should call my thinking black and white, bringing up a false dichotomy like suggesting I move to Iraq. There are more than two countries in the world. Check out an atlas some time. Iraq didn’t have roving gangs of asshole-gluers before you and your pals showed up.

    People like you don’t stop terrorism, you cause it.

    I’ve got the fuck out before, came back and will likely get the fuck out again in the future. I’m adventurous, I travel. My skills are in demand everywhere. And I do fit in pretty well wherever I go because I’m not a boor like you. I speak four languages. I’m not surrounded by fellow bully boys the way you are; I have to cope on my own.

    Oh, and in Montebello, it WAS police provocateurs. Really. In the news and everything. Front page headlines, no less. Stick that in your gun and shoot it.

  • KatyGirl

    The G20 should be protested.

    Saudi Arbia? Really?

    How could we let that woman hating, homophobic country’s head of state come here? It’s just wrong.

    I’m sure there a few other leaders from countries with human rights violations too.

  • drums

    Far be it from me to be the first to defend my country at the expense of my fellow citizens, but the people calling Canada a “fascist police state” need to step the fuck away and calm down. We are one of the most liberal countries in the world and take immense pride in it. We’ve legalised gay marriage (not civil unions, but full marriage) for years. The G20 protests were a mess and a dozen inquiries have already been launched to investigate what went wrong. The police made lots of mistakes and we should rightly question if discrimination played a part in those mistakes. But the fact of the matter is, Canada is one of the only governments in the world to ask these questions of its own accord and admit things went wrong, and one of the only places in the world where a class action lawsuit by gay detainees will be taken seriously or even allowed to proceed. So I must politely ask you to fuck off with your fascism accusations. Thank you.

  • Jon

    I believe it is common in most places to separate gays in jails. They do it here in Los Angeles. If something happened to the gay then he’d be crying that they didn’t protect him properly. It’s for your own protection.

Comments are closed.