By John-Henry Westen and Gudrun Schultz
KAMLOOPS, BC, January 18, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Catholic city councillor in Kamloops, British Columbia, who was himself the victim of the crime of vandalism due to his faith, has been forced to apologize and pay a homosexual activist couple $1000. The couple filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal which was accepted and was to go to the hearing stage.
Strangely, it was councillor who was shown true discrimination worthy of a human rights complaint. In June, the councillor opposed a homosexual pride proclamation, after which his barber shop was vandalized with "Homophobia Die" scrawled on the door of his business.
At the time LifeSiteNews.com interviewed John DeCicco, an active Catholic and member of the Knights of Columbus. DeCicco, an Italian immigrant who came to Canada at the young age of 15 and is fiercely proud of the country he now calls home, told LifeSiteNews.com at the time, "In this great nation of ours we can express our opinions and when you can’t there’s something wrong."
In August, homosexual activist couple John Olynick and Greg Koll filed a complaint against DeCicco with the human rights commission over remarks he made at the council meeting and repeated in media interviews. In line with Catholic teaching on the matter, he described homosexual acts as "not normal and not natural.’‘
In the June interview with LifeSiteNews.com he explained, "I’m not against lesbian and gay people, but I don’t agree that I should have to endorse it." He also said that people can do what they like in the privacy of their own homes, but, he said in reference to gay pride parades, they shouldn’t "go out and flaunt it, in front of people who don’t necessarily agree."
While DeCicco already apologized for the incident once back in October, that apology was not considered part of the settlement. In addition to paying $1,000 to Olynick and Koll, DeCicco will provide a statement saying his comments were "inappropriate and hurtful to some." The settlement will allow the councillor to avoid a Human Rights Truibunal hearing. The city of Kamloops will pay DeCicco’s legal fees, according to a report by Kamloops Daily News.
DeCicco has said the settlement will not changes his opposition to gay pride week. "I’m not going to change my view of my stand," he said. "My public comments have to be a little more refined."
See previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
"Homophobia Die" Scrawled on Door of City Councillor Who Opposed Gay Pride