Catholic Activist “Banned for life” From Publicly Criticising Homosexuality
By Hilary White
REGINA, Saskatchewan, December 13, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission’s decision to impose a "lifetime" ban on a local Catholic’s freedom to publicly criticise homosexuality, was upheld this week in its entirety by Saskatchewan Court of Queens Bench.
Bill Whatcott, a licensed practical nurse who lives in Saskatchewan, is a campaigner against the homosexual political movement that is sweeping the Canadian legal system. In 2006, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC) ordered Whatcott to pay $17,500 Cn. to four complainants who complained that their "feelings" and "self-respect" were "injured" by Whatcott’s pamphlets denouncing the "gay lifestyle" as immoral and dangerous.
Whatcott responded to the decision, "This fine is for telling the truth [that] homosexual sodomites can change their behaviour and be set free from their sin and depravity through the forgiveness of sins and shed blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
He added, "Shame on the Saskatchewan Court of Queens Bench for pandering to homosexual activism and ignoring the truth."
In its 2005-2006 Annual Report, the Commission noted that Whatcott was "ordered to discontinue distributing any materials that promote hatred against people because of their sexual orientation."
The tribunal held that "preventing the distribution of such materials was a reasonable limit on Whatcott’s right to freedom of religion and expression as guaranteed by section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms".
Whatcott appealed the decision to the Court of Queen’s Bench and received the news on Tuesday that the court would not overturn the HRC’s ruling.
Whatcott himself says he was fined for his pamphlets that used "verbatim" a text from a classified personal advertisement in a local homosexual publication that ran, "Man seeking boys…. age not so relevant".
Canadians concerned about what they see as the erosion of basic democratic freedoms are calling for a stop to the extra-judicial powers of the Human Rights Commissions in which the usual rules for due process of law do not apply.
In connection to a similar Human Rights Commission case currently levelled by the Canadian Islamic Congress against the popular conservative political author Mark Steyn, Ottawa Citizen columnist David Warren wrote this week that freedom of speech is "the most fundamental right," and that the Human Rights Tribunals represent a significant threat to democratic freedoms.
Freedom of speech, he wrote, is "the queen bee in the hive, as it were. Every other freedom depends on this freedom. Take it away, and we no longer have a free country".
"Like so much in civil society, we put up with it because the alternative is worse, and we’d rather cope with free speech, than with the free intimidation that results from its suppression."
Warren voiced the concerns of many in Canada who believe the Human Rights Commissions’ powers and zeal for the far left ideological position makes them an ideal vehicle for the suppression of basic democratic freedoms.
Warren blasted the Human Rights Tribunals, calling them "kangaroo courts" and "star chambers" with "quasi-legal powers that should be offensive to the citizens of any free country… in which the defendant’s right to due process is withdrawn."
"They reach judgements on the basis of no fixed law. Moreover, ‘the process is the punishment’ in these star chambers—for simply by agreeing to hear a case, they tie up the defendant in bureaucracy and paperwork, and bleed him for the cost of lawyers, while the person who brings the complaint, however frivolous, stands to lose nothing."
Conservatives in Canada are supporting a petition, addressed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to abolish or at least curtail the powers of the Human Rights Commissions.
Sign the petition to stop the Human Rights Commissions:
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