Back in the mid-90s Ontario’s Court of Appeal determined that women had the right to walk topless in public places. Some were outraged, while others just shrugged. It led to the formation of a group known as Ontario’s Keep Tops On (KTO). Which Roxanne James was a member of. What is not widely known is that Roxanne worked alongside a woman by the name of Erika Kubassek. Along with two other women, they started a petition to stop females from going topless.
But google the name Erika Kubassek and a litany of stuff comes up. Most prevalent is her conviction (Erika Kubassek) of assaulting Rev. Brent Hawkes at a same-sex marriage ceremony.
To read up on the case go to The Erika Kubassek Assault Trial
For her part Erika Kubassek called her conviction a “It was a miscarriage of justice.”
“It’s unbelievable that out of a trifling little matter they’re making it into a big thing,” she said.
She called the assault a “little accidental thing” and compared herself yesterday to prophets who were wrongly punished for things they didn’t do.
Isn’t Roxanne James the same person who says she is on the side of victims? If that is the case Rev. Brent Hawkes has been waiting 14 years for a call of concern from Roxanne James for his assault. But then again if you are part of the LGBTQ community, Roxanne James couldn’t care less if you are gay bashed.
Roxanne James and Erika Kubassek would later work on various campaigns to oppose and stop Marriage Equality from being law in Canada.
Sadly Erika Kubassek passed away many years ago.
Anyways getting back to Keep Tops On (KTO), Roxanne went to several demonstrations at City Hall and spoke freely with the press. In 1997 she was quoted in a newsletter by R.E.A.L. Women Canada.
“If we don’t take a stand right now, you’re not going to believe the things you will see in five years from now on our streets’. Special interest groups and activists have taken our constitutional rights to a level where we have made a mockery of our constitution. They all scream for their rights, but nobody is willing to discuss responsibility. A society can only enjoy true freedom when rights are with balancing responsibilities.”
She later told the Toronto Star at the same event
“Where are the laws protecting your family? In all this chaos, what’s happening to my constitutional rights? I won’t take my family to a public park until something is done. I want my children protected.”
“With this, we may as well bring the adult magazines down from the top shelves and mix them in with the comic books.”
Former MP John Nunziata was also involved in the Keep Tops On movement, and later presented their petition in the House of Commons and saluted the women. Saying in part
“These petitions were gathered by an organization based in my riding called Keep Tops On, KTO. Those responsible for the petition, Carol Faraone, Cathy Francavilla, Roxanne James and Erika Kubassek, are present in the gallery today. The names of these 60,000 petitioners are in addition to the names of 40,000 petitioners submitted to the House a number of weeks ago and the petition drive is continuing.”
Footnote to this story, now that Roxanne James is an MP she seems to think she has moved beyond the public nudity dispute. Far from it. In 2014 she participated in the National March for Life anti-abortion rally. Just her luck that the activist group Femen decided to crash the event and protest topless. And one of the protesters shoved their bare breasts right in front of Roxanne.
In a way Roxanne James has come full circle. She started her activist career protesting women going topless. And now as an MP she gets confronted by a topless protester.