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Old March 3rd, 2013 #66
Alex Linder
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Alex Linder
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Minorities Rule; Freedom Drools: Supreme Court Curtails Christians Criticizing Homosexuality

Much of the Canadian political and legal Establishment are fantically supportive or abortion and the homosexual agenda -- neither particularly good news for a healthy nation -- while, at the same time, they are openly contemptuous of and can just barely tolerate Christianity.

Free speech suffered another defeat yesterday at the hands of a six-judge panel of the Supreme Court of Canada. The court ruled on the constitutionality of anti-free speech provisions of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Act in the case of William Whatcott who had distributed leaflets proclaiming his strong faith-based opposition to the practice of homosexuality.

Whatcott, the victim of the Court's ruling, told the CBC (February 27, 2013): ""It's dreadful," he said of the decision. "'It's a dark day for Canada.' Whatcott said he refuses to pay the $7,500 in damages as directed by the high court. He also says the ruling means the Supreme Court can impose its morals on the rest of the country and limit free speech.

"Canada’s top court ruled vitriolic anti-gay speech in flyers distributed by a Christian activist is not protected by the Charter.

However, the high court, including Chief Beverly McLachlin, gave broad endorsement to the law’s equality protections for a vulnerable minority against the spreading of 'hatred.'

Justice Marshall Rothstein, writing for the 6-0 panel, found two of four flyers handed out by William Whatcott in 2001 and 2002 in Regina and Saskatoon crossed the line into “harmful” discourse, but two did not. ...

The court said two of Whatcott’s hand-delivered leaflets had “hallmarks” of hatred, targeting gays as a menace that could threaten the safety and well-being of others, referring to respected sources like the Bible to lend credibility, and using “vilifying and derogatory representations to create a tone of hatred.”

'It delegitimizes homosexuals by referring to them as filthy or dirty sex addicts and by comparing them to pedophiles, a traditionally reviled group in society,' wrote Rothstein.

The court said the law’s purpose is to 'prevent discrimination by curtailing certain types of public expression' but it is tailored, and does not ban private expression of views." (Toronto Star, February 28, 2012)

Christians are supposed to take comfort from the fact that they can still whisper their views about homosexuals in private -- for the moment.

In a typically Canadian but mischievous approach the Supremos appeared to be even-handed by striking down two of the four counts and throwing freedom a crumb: "In doing so, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously struck down a small part of the province’s human rights code as an infringement on free speech and religion. It removed vague wording that prohibited the distribution of material that 'ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity' of people on the basis of their sexual orientation."

And they halved Mr. Whatcott's fine imposed for hurting the feelings of one of Canada:s privileged minorities: "On that basis the court trimmed an original order against Whatcott to compensate the complainants from $17,500 to $7,500."

However, Canada:s latest victim of state censorship remained defiant: "The ruling was denounced by the man at the center, William Whatcott of Weyburn, Sask., as rubbish. Whatcott said the ruling criminalizes a large part of Christian speech on homosexuality and morality. Unapologetic, he suggested he may put out another flyer on expressing that viewpoint and it will be written in what he calls his usual blunt and forthright manner."

It may well be that the courts are not the place to guarantee freedom of expression . The political route -- changes of legislation -- may be the way to go and, eventually, the repeal of Trudeau:s cursed Charter of Minority Privilege.

Paul Fromm
Director
Canadian Association for Free Expression


Anti-gay pamphlets broke law, Supreme Court of Canada says
The Supreme Court of Canada upheld a key part of anti-hate speech law, and maintained penalties levied an anti-gay campaigner.


Anti-gay activist William Whatcott pauses during a break in hearings at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa October 12, 2011.

By: Tonda MacCharles Ottawa Bureau reporter, Published on Wed Feb 27 2013

OTTAWA—In an important decision that upheld the main anti-hate provisions in Saskatchewan’s human rights law, Canada’s top court ruled vitriolic anti-gay speech in flyers distributed by a Christian activist is not protected by the Charter.

In doing so, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously struck down a small part of the province’s human rights code as an infringement on free speech and religion. It removed vague wording that prohibited the distribution of material that “ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity” of people on the basis of their sexual orientation.

However, the high court, including Chief Beverly McLachlin, gave broad endorsement to the law’s equality protections for a vulnerable minority against the spreading of “hatred.”

Justice Marshall Rothstein, writing for the 6-0 panel, found two of four flyers handed out by William Whatcott in 2001 and 2002 in Regina and Saskatoon crossed the line into “harmful” discourse, but two did not.

On that basis the court trimmed an original order against Whatcott to compensate the complainants from $17,500 to $7,500.

The ruling was denounced by the man at the center, William Whatcott of Weyburn, Sask., as rubbish.

Whatcott said the ruling criminalizes a large part of Christian speech on homosexuality and morality. Unapologetic, he suggested he may put out another flyer on expressing that viewpoint and it will be written in what he calls his usual blunt and forthright manner.

Whatcott spent several years in Toronto about 15 years ago, when he led anti-abortion demonstrations in front of Jarvis Collegiate and ran as a fringe candidate in the 1999 provincial election.

The court said two of Whatcott’s hand-delivered leaflets had “hallmarks” of hatred, targeting gays as a menace that could threaten the safety and well-being of others, referring to respected sources like the Bible to lend credibility, and using “vilifying and derogatory representations to create a tone of hatred.”

“It delegitimizes homosexuals by referring to them as filthy or dirty sex addicts and by comparing them to pedophiles, a traditionally reviled group in society,” wrote Rothstein.

The court said the law’s purpose is to “prevent discrimination by curtailing certain types of public expression” but it is tailored, and does not ban private expression of views.

While acknowledging it is a limit on free speech and expressions of religious belief, the court said it struck “an appropriate balance” with other Charter values, namely “a commitment to equality and respect for group identity and the inherent dignity owed to all human beings.”

The decision was hailed by advocates of equality rights for gays and lesbians and other vulnerable minority groups, as well as by those who believe it sent a strong signal that Canadian law — whether human rights acts or criminal codes — can be used to counter hateful speech and propaganda likely to cause harm.

“The court wisely held that connecting speech to morality or public debate doesn’t immunize it from restrictions on hate speech,” said Robert Leckey, president of Egale Canada, the advocacy group for gay and lesbian rights that had intervened in the case.

B’nai Brith lawyer Marvin Kurz said the ruling targets only speech that is “the worst of the worst.”

“It doesn’t matter whether I’m offended by what Mr. Whatcott says,” said Kurz. “The question is whether there’s going to be harm.”

Ontario’s human rights code does not have the exact same ban on hateful publications or flyers that Saskatchewan had. Kurz said Wednesday’s ruling nevertheless counters a backlash that had been growing against the use of human rights laws and solidifies overall efforts to fight harmful speech, whether it be anti-gay or anti-Semitic.

Kurz added the court did not establish a hierarchy of rights, or conclude that equality rights should trump freedom of religion and free speech.

“What it says is religion isn’t the only right, and religion cannot be used as a cloak for illegal activity; religion cannot be used as a cloak for hate.”

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, which intervened in support of Whatcott’s right to state his religious views freely without limit by the state, offered a muted reaction in a written statement noting that at least the high court made clearer what it does not consider hate speech.

The ruling is in line with a trio of decisions in 1990 (Keegstra, Taylor and Andrews) that saw the Supreme Court of Canada uphold various Canadian Criminal Code and human rights code prohibitions against hate speech.