OTTAWA, March 25, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - LifeSiteNews.com has learned that homosexual hate crime Bill C-250 was passed without amendment in the Senate Committee this morning.  The legislation, which threatens to repress free speech, conscience rights and religious freedom on the moral issue of homosexuality, has been sent back to the Senate with a final vote which could occur as early as Friday but more likely Monday.  In its release today, REAL Women of Canada indicated that the Senate hearings on the bill were a highly undemocratic sham. It stated, “Hundreds of groups and individuals applied to appear before the Committee to object to Bill C-250.  The Committee decided to refuse to listen to these Canadians.  When one witness appearing before the Committee tried to give the Senators facts on the harmful health risks of some sexual orientations, he was accused of being ‘mean-spirited.’  One Senator called this medical information an ‘attack’ on sexual behaviour”.

LifeSiteNews.com also applied a number of times to appear before the committee regarding freedom of the press implications of the bill, but was not even granted a response. The hearings have obviously been cut short and delegations limited because the government wants to rush the bill through, regardless of public opinion and regardless of the wishes of many MP who strongly oppose the bill introduced by social radical NDP MP Svend Robinson.  The measure seems to have very little opposition in the Senate in all the parties.  Senate sources told LifeSiteNews.com that the legislation was being heavily promoted by the Office of Prime Minister Paul Martin and also has support from the Conservative Opposition Leader in the Senate, John Lynch-Staunton.  Senator Lynch-Staunton’s office could not confirm his support for the bill by press time.  Moreover, LifeSiteNews.com sources note the Conservative Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Noel Kinsella, is a strong backer of the legislation and was responsible for the fast-tracked navigation of the bill through the Senate.  Conservative Senators opposed to the bill have tried to have more public hearings on the bill but were thwarted in their efforts by Kinsella.

On February 28, 1996, Senator Kinsella introduced Bill S-2, a Senate Bill to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination against gays and lesbians.  He was consequently largely responsible for the Senate’s approval of “sexual orientation” being added to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The support for the bill from the Conservative Party in the Senate has sent shockwaves through Conservative Party supporters and MPs, most of whom strongly oppose the bill.  Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has publicly spoken out against the legislation.  However, according to LifeSiteNews.com sources, at best, only a handful of Conservative Senators are likely to oppose the legislation, despite the expression of massive public opposition to the measure.  Brian Rushfeldt, of the Canada Family Action Coalition, told LifeSiteNews.com today, “The dubious and unscrupulous fashion with which this dangerous criminal legislation has been forced upon us is a sign of the liberal social engineering agenda being forced upon all Canadians.”  Rushfledt says, “My greatest concern is the undefined language in section 319 of the criminal law; a person will no longer now know if you are breaking criminal law until you end up in court faced with a charge and the judge will decide, every case will have to be interpreted by a judge and you won’t know if you are breaking the law.”  Rushfeldt concluded, “and that’s more dangerous than living in communist Russia when people were hauled off for breaking unknown laws.”  This is the second instance of a Senate committee shutting out most opponents of a bill favoured by the Paul Martin Liberals and strong preference being given to hearing supporters of the bill. The same situation happened recently with the Reproduction Technologies Bill C-6 hearings which shut out expert testimony from two national pro-life groups who have spent the past few years researching the bill and were the most vigorous opponents of the bill..  All concerned citizens are being urged to contact senators at:  www.killbillc250.com