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FREDERICTON MAYOR FACES HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL FOR REFUSING TO PROCLAIM GAY PRIDE WEEK

Fri Jul 10, 1998 - 12:15 pm EST

FREDERICTON, NB, July 10 (LSN) - Fredericton mayor Brad Woodside was brought before the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission yesterday by a Fredericton gay activist group who are charging Woodside with “discrimination” for refusing to proclaim Gay Pride Week.  In his defense, Woodside’s lawyers cited his faith as prohibiting him from issuing such a proclamation and also noted that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protected his right to refuse to proclaim it.  In two similar cases in Ontario, mayors Dianne Haskett of London and Bob Morrow of Hamilton were found guilty of “discrimination” and forced to pay large fines by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), in spite of their religious objections to making Gay Pride Week proclamations. Mayor Haskett was fined $10,000 by the OHRC and the total cost of her defense,  fines, and interest totaled over $72,000. Both Haskett and Morrow were re-elected in spite of the ruling of the OHRC. In the London election, the “gay pride” proclamation was the main issue in the campaign. Mayor Haskett received twice as many votes as her nearest rival.


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