OTTAWA, Ontario, December 13, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Word TV, a Christian TV show run by prominent evangelical pastor Charles McVety, has been shut down temporarily after an industry watchdog ruled that it had discriminated against homosexuals.
Outraged conservatives have called the ruling an act of censorship, while McVety himself has condemned the ruling, calling it “a gross breach of democracy” and “reminiscent of totalitarian regimes of the past.”
McVety told LifeSiteNews that he was never contacted during the investigation process and that he has been told that there will be no opportunity to appeal. “I’m being persecuted by a bureaucrat who thinks he has the power to convict someone of a breach of his standards without a trial, without a hearing from me, without any due process, and based on completely ridiculous grounds,” he said.
Crossroads Television System, the Christian broadcaster known for such popular programs as 100 Huntley Street and The Michael Coren Show, took McVety’s show off the air after the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council (CBSC) ruled in June that the program put them in violation of their code of ethics.
The CBSC panel, which released the decision on Wednesday, rebuked McVety for claiming that the homosexual movement is driven by a “conspiratorial” agenda and suggesting that they prey on children.
The panel complained that he had described the Pride parades, which they said had become “mainstream,” as “sexual perversion” and “sex parades.” They also chastized him because he said Toronto was being advertised as a “sex tourism destination … with full opportunity for sex with hot boys.”
An ad currently on the Tourism Toronto website targeted at the gay community states that “on any given day, hot boys and hot girls fill Church Street with energy, passion and opportunity.”
McVety had also said that homosexual activists seek to indoctrinate children “because unfortunately they have an insatiable appetite for sex, especially with young people.”
“And there’re not enough of them, so they want to proselytize your children and mine, our grandchildren and turn them into homosexuals,” he added.
The panel wrote: “Given the central role that the manifestation of gay pride plays in the LGBT world, the immediately preceding comments constitute a derision of the traditions and practices of that community.”
Campaign Life Coalition National President Jim Hughes condemned the ruling, asking, “Did [McVety] say anything that is untrue, or is his message just being shut out?”
Hughes said it seems like McVety is “just doing what he’s always done. He’s been very consistent in pointing out that the homosexual lifestyle is very dangerous.”
Hughes pointed out that the homosexualist organization Egale fought against raising the age of consent for sex from 14. “Where there’s smoke there’s fire, so perhaps his comments are valid,” he said.
The panel also stated that McVety broke the code of ethics by attributing “to the gay movement a malevolent, insidious and conspiratorial purpose, a so-called ‘agenda’.” This “constitutes abusively discriminatory comment on the basis of sexual orientation,” they wrote.
They opine, further, that McVety was “utterly wrong” to claim that Ontario’s failed sex ed curriculum, which was pulled last April after an outcry from parents, was meant to “teach” homosexuality. Instead, they say, “the proposed curricular revisions are intended to teach tolerance.”
“McVety is entitled to disagree that such teaching of tolerance should be tolerated but his twisting of the purpose of the revisions is wrong-headed, unfair and improper.”
McVety’s “most egregious” statement, they contend, was his claim that “it is now a crime to speak against homosexuality.” The pastor was speaking about Canada’s Bill C-250, which added “sexual orientation” to Canada’s hate crimes section. The bill, which passed in 2004, sparked a loud outcry from conservative politicians, religious leaders, and members of the public, who warned that it could be interpreted to allow prosecution of those espousing traditional views of sexuality.
According to the panel, however, McVety’s statement deserves censure because the bill does not explicitly criminalize speaking against homosexuality, but rather “inciting hatred” against homosexuals.
CTS TV, who made the decision to cancel the show, told LifeSiteNews, that as a member in good standing of CBSC they “have a responsibility to comply with the Canadian Association of Broadcaster’s Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code.”
“It is our policy in these circumstances not to air the program until we have assurance from the program that content will be compliant,” they explained. “CTS anticipates that the program Word TV will be reinstated in short order.”
“As Christians, we have genuine concern for all people, including homosexuals,” said Hughes. “That’s why it’s so important for us to tell them their lifestyle is dangerous.”
“With all the garbage that’s on TV, the censor boards dare condemn a man for expressing traditional, long-held, and widely-shared Christian teachings on sexuality?” he asked.
“What happened to freedom of opinion?” asked McVety. “If they can knock me off the air for using the term sex parades, then they can knock anybody off the air in this country that they wish.”