TORONTO, November 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Anti-homosexuality campaigner Bill Whatcott is using a hearing called by the homosexual activists suing him for $104 million to get their defamation suit dismissed as a violation of his Charter rights.
According to the argument submitted by Whatcott:
The class action lacks bona fides. It is not brought in good faith. It is a political tool designed to ‘smoke out’ political opponents. It is designed to punish political opponents and to suppress constitutional freedoms. It is designed to intimidate, bully Whatcott, chill free speech, and financially ruin his supporters. Its stated purpose is to crush and “stamp out” anyone opposed to the gay agenda. It is a politically motivated action done in concert with the Liberal federal and provincial governments of Canada and Ontario and supported by the Liberal subclass.
Whatcott and several named and unnamed supporters are being sued in a class action by several Ontario public homosexuals such as one-time Liberal MPP George Smitherman and gay bar owner Christopher Hudspeth for defaming them and all 500,000 participants in Toronto’s Gay Pride Parade. Whatcott led a small group of so-called “gay zombies,” who distributed approximately 3,000 information kits warning against the immorality and health risks of homosexual practices and urging a spiritual and religious conversion to Christianity.
The plaintiffs, who claim to be acting for both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne as members of a defamed “class” of Liberal politicians, have secured a November 15 hearing to seek a court order forcing Whatcott to identify several supporters who joined him in the parade effectively disguised in green body suits.
Hudspeth has said the lawsuit was intended to “smoke out” all who helped Whatcott in any way — with funds, with preparation of the kits, and by donning the green suits and handing out kits.
But Whatcott’s lawyer, Charles Lugosi, has prepared an exhaustive factum urging protection of the anonymous participants and dismissal of the lawsuit as an attack on Charter freedoms of speech, thought, expression, religion, and association.
The Lugosi/Whatcott argument is basically: What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. The factum cites statements by organizers showing the Gay Pride Parade is, as the factum puts it, a “significant political event” providing a “golden opportunity” for the Ontario homosexual community to push for expanded rights and status. The defendants’ factum argues that it ought to be a golden opportunity for those who oppose this agenda too.
The factum also notes the parade was funded by more than $800,000 in grants from federal, provincial, and municipal governments and $729,000 in services. In addition, it claims that the official participation by Trudeau, Wynne and hundreds of other Liberal politicians was intended to “strengthen their alliance with the gay community.”
Whatcott’s factum argues:
This makes the parade a public and political event where, the defendants claim, they should be entitled under the Charter to express an opposing viewpoint. It is difficult to imagine a guaranteed right more important to a democratic society than freedom of expression. Indeed, a democracy cannot exist without that freedom to express new ideas and to put forward opinions about the functioning of public institutions. The concept of free and uninhibited speech permeates all democratic societies and institutions. The vital importance of the concept cannot be overemphasized. No doubt that was the reason why the framers of the Charter set forth s. 2(b) in absolute terms.” Section 2(b) guarantees freedom of expression.
As for defamation, they rely on the defense of truth for their claims about the health risks and costs of homosexual activities and on their religious and free speech rights for their claims of immorality.
The defendants also argue that the plaintiffs are disqualified because they do not have legally “clean hands.” The parade, the defendants say, “was a display of immoral, indecent public nudity, uninhibited obscene lewd erotic behavior, blasphemous costumes, which were obscene and insulted Christians and other people of faith, and biased free speech extolling the hedonistic gay lifestyle … ”
The defendants also claim that there were men and women paraders “exposing their sexual organs to children” and breaking the Criminal Code in other ways.
Such illegal behavior provoked the protest by the “gay zombies,” the factum asserts, adding, “Equity in these circumstances does not entitle the plaintiffs to equitable remedies.”
The defendants also address the plaintiffs’ demand that Whatcott reveal the names of his supporters, arguing their Charter freedoms would be endangered if their identities were exposed, especially given the plaintiff’s expressed intent to “stamp” them “out. ” The factum recounts the historic importance of anonymous pamphleteers in the cause of civil and religious rights in Great Britain and America, at times when publication of certain arguments could draw the death penalty. The factum states:
Freedom of expression is constitutionally protected even when done anonymously. The disclosure of identity is the choice of the individual who has chosen to remain anonymous. The freedom to remain anonymous is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression.
The factum concludes by charging the plaintiffs with “abuse of process” and calling for the suit’s dismissal with all costs awarded to Whatcott.