By Patrick B. Craine

CALGARY, Alberta, April 9, 2010 ( – The Alberta minister in charge of the province's human rights commission is saying now that the human rights complaint against Red Deer pastor Stephen Boissoin shouldn't have ever gone to the commission.

“[The commission's] not there to mediate hurt feelings caused by some words or not,” Culture Minister Lindsay Blackett told CBC. “If it's hateful, then that's a hate crime. And that's something for the Crown attorneys and the police services to investigate.”

“But the goal of the commission is to make sure people are protected against discrimination where they work, or access to accommodation, access to government services,” he added.

The commission ruled in 2008 that a June 17, 2002 letter by Boissoin, in which he criticized the promotion of homosexuality in the Alberta school system, violated the province's human rights act.  They said that it could expose homosexuals to hatred or contempt and suggested that the letter had contributed to the beating of a homosexual teen two weeks after the letter was published – despite the fact that there was no evidence that the perpetrators had even read Boissoin’s letter.

The commission ordered Boissoin to cease expressing his views on homosexuality publicly, to pay $5,000 in damages to complainant Darren Lund, as well as an additional $2,000 fine, and to publish a personal apology in the local paper.

The commission ruling was overturned by the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench on December 4th, where Justice Earl C. Wilson held that the letter was protected under free speech laws.

Lund announced late last month that he was appealing Justice Wilson's decision.

See related coverage:

Homosexual Activist Appeals Exoneration of Canadian Pastor Boissoin

Pastor Boissoin Exonerated: Judge Rules Letter on Homosexuality Not “Hate” Speech


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