Thaddeus Baklinski

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‘Free Speech Wall’ at Canadian university torn down within hours by homosexual activist

Thaddeus Baklinski
Thaddeus Baklinski
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OTTAWA, January 23, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A “Free Speech Wall” set up by Carleton University Students for Liberty was destroyed by a fellow student who described himself as an "anti-homophobia campaigner."

Carleton Students for Liberty (SFL) founder Ian CoKehyeng explained that a Free Speech Wall is simply large sheets of paper set up in a high traffic area on campus where students can write anything they like.

But after students set up the wall on Monday in the Unicentre Galleria, one of the campus’ most frequented areas, a student, Arun Smith, tore off the paper with the messages left by students and destroyed the framework to which the paper was fastened.

Smith defended his actions on his Facebook page, saying that the free speech wall was offensive to homosexuals because someone might write something to which homosexuals object.

"In organizing the ‘free speech wall,’ the Students for Liberty have forgotten that liberty requires liberation, and this liberation is prevented by providing space for either more platitudes, or for the expression of hate," Smith wrote. He called the free speech wall a "war zone" and "another in a series of acts of violence” against homosexual rights.

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Paradoxically, the messages that Smith destroyed contained more approval of homosexuality than disapproval.

Compared to many pro-gay messages such as "Queers are awesome" and "Gay is OK," there was only one comment, "Traditional marriage is awesome," which might be construed as touching on the homosexual agenda. Another message said, "Abortion is murder."

CoKehyeng said the SFL's stand against censorship meant that everyone should be free to express their opinion on the free speech wall without fear of running afoul of school administration or being attacked by those who object to their message.

He said that a majority of students support the free speech wall and that the main opposition “comes from a vocal minority of students who are concerned with creating so-called safe spaces on campus.”

"While this is a noble goal," CoKehyeng said, “there is nothing safe about censorship.”

Janet Neilson, director of the Institute for Liberal Studies, argued that Smith's act of vandalism stems from his world-view of homosexuals as victims.

"It is clear from Mr. Smith's [Facebook] note that for him the world is a small, closed and scary place where he and other vulnerable groups are constantly under attack," Neilson wrote.

"There is no need to be angry at someone like this. I urge Carleton Students for Liberty to re-erect the wall and encourage those who sympathise with the need to tear it down to participate along with everybody else. I don't think asking CUSA [Carlton U. Student Assoc.] to punish those opposing the wall will be constructive, but inviting engagement might be."

"We don't need to destroy anything to start a conversation, we only need to invite people to join us," Neilson concluded.

John Carpay, president of the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), whose organization is a co-sponsor of the Free Speech Wall, praised the Students for Liberty initiative to encourage free speech at Carlton. However, he also pointed out the inconsistency in the school administration's handling of the vandalism committed on campus by Arun Smith in comparison to their decision to arrest pro-life students for trespassing when they attempted to set up a display of the Genocide Awareness Project.

"It's good that Carlton University allows the Free Speech Wall," Carpay told LifeSiteNews, "but it will be interesting to see how they respond to Arun Smith having publicly admitted to having damaged and stolen someone's property on campus, when they arrested and handcuffed pro-life students for wanting to peacefully express their opinions on campus. It will be interesting to see whether Carlton imposes any consequences on Smith."

In the JCCF's 2012 Campus Freedom Index, a report on the state of free speech at Canadian universities, Carlton was rated among the worst in the country.

The introduction to the Index states that one of the biggest threats to free speech in Canada comes from universities that condone illegal activities on the part of people who interfere with, and effectively shut down, the events and speech of people they disagree with, noting that Section 430 of the Criminal Code makes it an offence to obstruct, interrupt or interfere with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment, or operation of property.

“Whether universities themselves restrict controversial and politically incorrect speech, or whether they fail to uphold the rule of law on campus, in both cases the end result is censorship,” the JCCF concluded.

Contact info:

Carlton University
Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and Vice-Chancellor  
503 Tory Building  
1125 Colonel By Drive  
Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada  
Tel: 613 520-3801  
Fax: 613 520-4474  
Email: [email protected]

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

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Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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