Alberta Pastor Fined $7000 and Ordered to Publicly Apologize and Remain Silent on Homosexuality
By Tim Waggoner
OTTAWA, June 9, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On Friday, the Alberta Human Rights Commission ordered Alberta pastor Stephen Boissoin to desist from expressing his views on homosexuality in any sort of public forum. He was also commanded to pay damages equivalent to $7,000 as a result of the tribunal’s November decision to side with complainant and homosexual activist Dr. Darren Lund. The tribunal has also called for Boissoin to personally apologize to Lund via a public statement in the local newspaper.
The remedy order demands the pastor to pay $5,000 to Lund personally for the "time and energy" he has expended and for the "ridicule and harassment" he has faced. Combined with that financial burden, Boissoin must also pay up to $2,000 in expenses to one of Lund’s witness, provided she produces records of such costs.
Boissoin was first hauled before the Human Rights Commission to answer to a complaint filed by Lund, an assistant professor at the University of Calgary. Lund made his complaint after Boissoin published a letter to the editor in the Red Deer Advocate, in which he denounced homosexuality as immoral and dangerous, and called into question new gay-rights curricula permeating the province’s educational system.
"Children as young as five and six years of age are being subjected to psychologically and physiologically damaging pro-homosexual literature and guidance in the public school system; all under the fraudulent guise of equal rights," wrote Boissoin in the letter.
In an interview, Boissoin told LifeSiteNews.com that he’s under attack not only for his letter, but more significantly for his beliefs.
"The point I am trying to make here is what’s being attacked at the core is what I believe, according to my personal beliefs and my religious beliefs."
Most disturbingly, says Boissoin, is that the ruling calls for him to "cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals." Boissoin wondered to what extent the right to freedom of expression in Canada will be deteriorated, stating, "I am not allowed to hold on to my views."
The pastor also maintained that his beliefs are founded not on hate or malice, but derive from a personal concern for the family and society rooted not only in faith, but also in science.
"I am not allowed to hold my views, but the Lunds of the world are allowed to bring gay ministers into schools, they are allowed to present scientifically baseless teachings to kids that people are born gay."
"I am all for tolerance, I don’t want to see anyone who calls themselves homosexual be discriminated against," added Boissoin. "At the same time I believe it is a behaviour, there is no scientific proof that anyone is born gay, but these teens are taught in our school systems that that is the way it is, that people are born homosexual."
Boissoin then addressed the potential implications of what he called a scientifically baseless pro-homosexual curriculum being taught in schools. "When you deem something acceptable, you increase the likelihood that they will participate in that, and that’s a great concern to me," he said.
Boissoin also accused Lund of concidently defaming him in another local newspaper, which either refused to publish Boissoin’s rebuts or edited them severely.
He concluded by commenting on the Remedy order and the entire ordeal, which over the last six years has consumed tremendous time, energy and money - both from the pockets of taxpayers and Boissoin.
"Absurd - beyond absurd. I will never make a public apology; I stand by what I said. My context has never been taken into consideration. Lund’s context has always been taken into consideration."
This will not be the last edition to the Boissoin story as he admitted to LifeSiteNews.com that he "will be appealing to an actual court of law."
Boissoin’s is the latest in the string of actions by human rights commissions at both the national and provincial levels which have the nation in an uproar over the threat to freedom of speech and freedom of religion posed by the human rights commissions.
The Alberta government, which created the human rights commission, has ultimate authority over the Commission and its mandate, rules and who is appointed to the commission.
To Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach:
Office of the Premier
Room 307, Legislature Building
10800 - 97th Avenue
Phone: (780) 427 2251
Fax: (780) 427 1349
Link to Alberta Human Rights Commission Remedy order for Stephen Boissoin:
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Alberta Human Rights Tribunal Rules Against Christian Pastor Boissoin