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.