NewsFri Aug 26, 2005 - 12:15 pm EST
Gay Human Rights Complaint Against Calgary Bishop Dropped - Was All About Getting Media Attention
CALGARY, August (LifeSiteNews.com) - Norm Greenfield, who launched a human rights complaint against Calgary Bishop Fred Henry, has admitted to the media that his actions were done in order to attract media attention.Â Greenfield launched his complaint after Bishop Henry released a pastoral letter explaining Catholic teaching on the subject of homosexuality. (See the letter here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/jan/050113a.html )
At a conciliation session at the Alberta Human Rights Commission headquarters yesterday, in a session mediated by a human rights commission lawyer, Greenfield met with Bishop Henry and his legal counsel.Â During the meeting Greenfield agreed to drop the complaint.Â A second similar complaint against Bishop HenryÂis still pending.
Bishop Henry informed LifeSiteNews.com that the conciliation process is held “without prejudice,” so what is said remains in the room and falls under the banner of confidentiality. “Given the nature of my office, the importance of confidentiality, and my own personal reputation, I feel duty bound to adhere to the rules of the process, so I will not comment on what transpired, other than to say I am pleased with the outcome,” he said.
But the confidentiality agreement did not stop Greenfield, from spouting off to the media, especially since, as he says, that’s what the complaint was all about.Â“What I wanted to do is bring the issue to the media. There really is no other platform to do this, with the media selective in what sort of discussions they want to hear and the lack of public forums in the city for people like myself to go on and talk about this issue,” Greenfield told reporters after the meeting.
“I never had a problem with the bishop or what he’s preaching from the pulpit. I just had a problem with him asking our provincial government to use their coercive power to make same-sex marriage illegal.,” said Greenfield.
Greenfield was referring to this statement in Bishop Henry’s pastoral letter: “Since homosexuality, adultery, prostitution and pornography undermine the foundations of the family, the basis of society, then the State must use its coercive power to proscribe or curtail them in the interests of the common good.”Â
Bishop Henry explained in a subsequent pastoral letter what he meant by “coercive powers” of the state.Â“The state obviously responds to each of these threats to family life in different ways as it exercises its coercive power,” he said.Â“The government has a solemn obligation to protect, not re-engineer, an institution that is more fundamental to human life than the state. In a word, it must ‘build fences’ to protect the institution of marriage.” (see the full letter here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/may/050502b.html )
The fact that the complaints, taken seriously by the human right commission, causedÂsubstantial stress to Bishop Henry, faithful Christians and freedom lovers across the country, does not seem to have entered the equation for Mr. Greenfield or the commission.Â Moreover, the defence has cost the diocese and its contributors thousands of dollars.
Calgary Sun columnist Rick Bell comments on the case saying: “Sadly, the commission isn’t going to go after Norm for instigating this episode in the theatre of the absurd.”
Others suggest it is time to put the ideologically oriented human rights commission process to bed.Â“These Mickey Mouse courts have been frequently used by homosexual activists around the country to quash free speech and freedom of conscience,” Campaign Life Coalition President Jim Hughes told LifeSiteNews.com.Â Indeed, the mostly unnaccountable human rights complaints process has successfully been used to force Christian mayors to declare gay pride days, to force a newspaper and a Christian man to pay a fine for having an ad merely citing Biblical references on homosexuality, to have a Christian printer pay a fine for refusing to print materials for a homosexual activist organization and much more.