PORT COQUITLAM, BC, December 7, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Two lesbians awarded damages from a BC Human Rights Tribunal for being denied a Knights of Columbus hall rental for their same-sex “wedding” claimed they were completely unaware that the hall was affiliated with the Catholic Church.

Pictures of the hall obtained by LifeSiteNews.com reveal its undeniableÂinclusion in a complex that included Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church and Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School. Not only do the pictures reveal that the hall isÂpart of the same three-acre parcel of land, but the walls of the buildings are all identical in colour.

Port Coquitlam Knights of Columbus Hall

Hall on left, with K of CÂcrest above door and Our Lady of The Assumption Catholic Church prominent to right

The pictures also clearly reveal the Knight’s coat of arms prominently displayed, as are pictures obviously relating to the Catholic faith, such as the picture in the announcement board of a young priest with the caption, “One good priest can make a difference . . . Vocations are everybody’s business.”



Our Lady of The Assumption Catholic School located immediately to the left of the K of C Hall

David Hauser, who managed the hall at the time, told LifeSiteNews.com that “There’s aÂlarge cross on that Church.” He added, “There’s aÂpicture of the Pope in the hall . . . there’s no way they didn’t know we were connected to the Church.”

More significantly, Hauser revealed to LifeSiteNews.com this week that Tracey Smith, one of the two women who rented the hall, was a co-worker of his who, along with a number of other openly gay co-workers at the Costco warehouse,Âvery well knew of his involvement with theÂCatholic men’s organization and his connection with the hall prior toÂthe controversial visitÂtwo years ago. As well, the tribunal decision noted that both Smith and Chymyshyn “knew the Catholic Church’s view on same-sex marriage” and “had they known who the Knights were, they would not have rented the hall.”



The door through whichÂthe two women entered hall - note prominent K of C crest andÂannouncement board

The Tribunal decision reported that “Both parties spent considerable time describing the hall and the placement within it of the crucifix, a picture of the ascension [sic] (should have read assumption) of the Virgin Mary, a picture of the Pope and pictures of the leaders of the Knights.” Amazingly,Âthe Tribunal Panel admitted that “There is no question that these items were displayed in the Hall,” and yetÂnevertheless stated it “accepts the evidence of the complainants”, who knew of the Catholic Church’s vews on same-sex ‘marriage’, “that they did not take notice of these items.”

Cross in BC Knights Hall

Large crucifix prominent over one end of hall

The tribunal then acknowledged, “Even if the complainants had noticed those items, the Panel is not persuaded that they would have made the connection between them, the Knights, and the fact that the Hall was a building with religious significance that may have had restrictions as to the types of events that could take place there.”



Announcement board with clearly Catholic notices and priest Photo that was there 2 years ago

The Tribunal “accepts that the complainants did not know who the Knights were or their affiliation with the Catholic Church,” they concluded.



Picture of Pope John Paul II the most prominent photo at top centre of photos of Knight officers in hall

In 2003, Smith and Deborah Chymyshyn rented the hall in Port Coquitlam. When the Knights became aware that it was to be for a homosexual couple, which would be in violation of Knights and Catholic principles, they cancelled the booking. The Tribunal heard the case in January and the ruling was handed down this past Nov. 30th.

See prior LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
  Knights of Columbus Forced to Pay Damages to Lesbians for Refusing to Rent Hall for “Wedding” Reception
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/nov/05113006.html
  Lesbians Want More Than Just Fine for Knights of Columbus: Launch Appeal
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/051202a.html

  Read the Humans Rights Tribunal decision:
http://www.bchrt.bc.ca/decisions/2005/pdf/Smith_and_Chymyshyn_v_Knights_of_Columbus_and_others_2005_BCHRT_544.pdf