Human Rights Complaint Dropped Against Canadian Conservative Website
By John Jalsevac
OTTAWA, Ontario, August 3, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The human rights complaint that accused the Canadian conservative web forum Free Dominion of "hate speech" has been dropped, Free Dominion co-founder and administrator Connie Fournier told LifeSiteNews.com today.
Fournier said that she and her husband, both of whom founded and run the website together, received a letter this afternoon, informing them that the complainant, Marie-Lines Gentes, requested the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) to drop the complaint.
Interestingly enough, said Fournier, the letter also indicated that the complainant had initially asked the CHRC to drop the complaint on July 17, before Free Dominion ever even heard about the complaint, and asked that the complaint be dropped a second time on July 23. When Fournier spoke to the CHRC on July 19, however, several days after Gentes first asked the complaint to be dropped, the CHRC made no mention of that fact, leaving Free Dominion in the dark until today. Free Dominion’s lawyer will be investigating this particular issue.
"I feel like the whole world’s been lifted off my shoulder," said Connie, who only married the co-administrator of Free Dominion, Mark Fournier, last weekend. "All of this happened at the same time we were getting married last weekend," she said. "So it was just one more thing. It’s stressful enough. And then, trying to get everything done, and having this happen too. We’re feeling a lot of relief."
Marie-Lines Gentes, who issued the complaint against Free Dominion, accused the site of allowing "hate-speech" against Muslims. Specifically Gentes took issue with a number of posts by well-known conservative activist Bill Whatcott. Gentes, however, was not herself Muslim, and in her complaint, according to the Fourniers, did not establish how Whatcott’s postings had anything to do with her.
Some of the postings that Gentes said proved that Free Dominion was guilty of "hate-speech," included Whatcott saying, "I can’t figure out why the homosexuals I ran into are on the side of the Muslims. After all, Muslims who practice Sharia law tend to advocate beheading homosexuals," as well as, "I defy Islamic censorship and speak about what I believe is the truth about violent Islamism and its threat to religious liberty in Canada," amongst others.
Connie, however, said that the experience, while stressful, coming as it did in the weeks leading up to her and Mark’s wedding, had its benefits for Free Dominion and Canada’s conservative movement on the whole. "It was a good dry run," she said, pointing to the high likelihood that Free Dominion’s opponents will use the CHRC in the future to try to shut the website down.
"There’re a lot of people who are still feeling a little bit like they want to do something more, because they’re afraid that, you know, that they didn’t decide to push through this time, but the threat’s always going to be there. Everybody’s discussing what to do in the future, if this happens again, and how we can be prepared."
Connie, however, said that she was very thankful for all the support from fellow bloggers, and conservative news outlets that covered Free Dominion’s temporary plight. A number of blogs and other sites, she said, actually republished the remarks by Whatcott that Gentes was taking issue with so that if the CHRC went after Free Dominion, they would have to go after all the other blogs as well, which Connie said was, from their perspective, "quite touching."
The Fourniers have said that the complaint against Free Dominion only demonstrates what many in Canada have been saying all along - that the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and so-called ‘hate-crime’ laws, rather than protecting the rights of Canadians, are a serious threat to free speech in Canada. Last month Connie - then Connie Wilkins - told WND daily that in Canada it is a crime merely "to offend someone."
"That’s the way it is here," she said. "I’ve made the argument many times, the ‘hate crimes’ laws are wrong. It puts more value on victims of crimes when somebody judges the crime was perpetrated because they hated them."
In Canada conservatives have had to become increasingly wary of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. In the past years, several pro-family advocates have had to undergo lengthy and expensive legal battles, after they were accused of "hate speech" for expressing their disapproval of homosexual behaviour.
See Free Dominion Website:
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Canada’s Human Rights Commission Used to Target Conservative Website With "Hate Speech"
Christian Pastor Hauled Before Human Rights Tribunal For Letter on Homosexuality
Pastor Facing Gay "Hate Speech" Tribunal Allowed to Publish Prof.‘s Complaint
Growing Support for Alberta Pastor Facing Human Rights Hearing Over Letters Against Homosexuality
Homosexuals Seek to Shut Down Canadian Pro-Family Websites https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/jul/06073106.html