TORONTO, February 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Ontario’s attorney general is proceeding by direct indictment against a Christian activist charged with criminally inciting hatred against “the gay community.”
Bill Whatcott, 52, was in court again Thursday to answer to the Criminal Code charge, which carries a punishment of up to two years in jail.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Nancy Spies scheduled a judicial pre-trial — an in-chambers meeting to discuss trial procedure — for March 19.
His lawyer, Daniel Santoro, is asking that Whatcott be tried by judge and jury.
“My alleged crime is preaching the Gospel and sharing accurate information on the dangers of homosexuality at the Toronto homosexual Pride Parade in 2016,” Whatcott said in a live Facebook post before his court appearance.
“I’m very prepared to pay the price. I’m certainly prepared to go to jail,” he added.
“I am standing for Jesus here.”
“Misplaced hope” in Doug Ford Tories
He and his supporters had a “misplaced hope” that Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government would drop what he says is a “politically motivated” charge, Whatcott told LifeSiteNews.
Liberal Attorney General Yasir Naqvi authorized the hate crime charge two months before losing his seat in Ford’s landslide June victory.
Instead, Mulroney’s office authorized the Crown on January 21 to proceed by direct indictment, ministry spokesman Brian Gray told LifeSiteNews in an email, adding that he could not comment further on a case before the courts.
“The direct indictment removed Bill’s right to discover witnesses and have the case adjudicated for sufficiency of evidence at a preliminary hearing,” Santoro told LifeSiteNews in an email.
“We also confirmed on the record the election of judge and jury as mode of trial, and I will be requesting further disclosure of the Crown,” he said.
The charge dates back to 2016, when Whatcott registered in the Toronto Pride Parade under the pseudonym Robert Clinton on behalf of the Gay Zombies Cannabis Consumers Association.
He and several others marched in the parade disguised in skintight green bodysuits and face masks, and distributed 3,000 kits on “Zombie Safe Sex” that included a flyer warning of the physical and spiritual dangers of homosexual activity.
“Natural law is clear, homosexuality is incompatible with human nature. Disease, death and confusion are the sad and sordid realities of the homosexual lifestyle,” it read.
The flyer featured images of anal warts, a mottled corpse described as an “AIDS fatality,” and another of “genital warts in the mouth” set next to a headshot of an open-mouthed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
It excoriated the “homosexual activism” of Trudeau, former Liberal Defence Minister Bill Graham, and former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
After a two-year investigation, Toronto Police Service issued a Canada-wide warrant for Whatcott in May 2018, and he turned himself in to Calgary police in June.
After a weekend in a Toronto jail, Whatcott was released on $5,000 bail with several conditions, including he surrender his passport.
Whatcott was also subject to a $104 million defamation class action lawsuit launched by lawyer Douglas Elliott.
An Ontario judge threw out the case in March 2017 but ordered Whatcott to disclose names of fellow “zombies” and “unidentified financial backers.”
That order is on hold pending appeal.
Canada turning into a “Nazi, communist state”
The Supreme Court of Canada in 2013 upheld a decision by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission that two of Whatcott’s pamphlets on homosexuality were “hate speech.”
While a crippling blow to free speech, the top court was ruling on whether Whatcott breached the province’s human rights code – not that he had committed a crime.
Canadians should be alarmed at what’s happening to Whatcott, said Pastor Art Pawlowski, founder of Calgary’s Street Church.
“We’re turning Canada into a Nazi state, into a communist state, where if you voice your politically incorrect views, you will be attacked by the forces of the government,” he told LifeSiteNews in an earlier interview.
Meanwhile, the Canada Anti-Hate Network (CAN) has lauded the hate crime prosecution, describing Whatcott as a “notorious homophobe,” and “a leading figure in the dissemination of homophobic hate propaganda in Canada for years.”
Whatcott is also waiting for a ruling from the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal on a discrimination complaint filed by transgender activist Morgane Oger, formerly Ronan Oger, which was heard over five days in December.
Whatcott, who lives in Alberta with his wife and two children, says he lost his job as an oilfield bus driver as a result of the hate crime charge, but he doesn’t regret his actions.
“Unworthy as I am, I think the Lord wanted me to do it,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“Somebody had to speak out. My flyer simply told the truth from a Christian perspective.”
Whatcott’s fundraising page to cover his legal fees can be found at wife Jadranka Whatcott’s GoGetFunding page here.