Justice in British Columbia Knights Case also Decided Against Christians Kempling, Brockie

Thu Dec 8, 2005 - 12:15 pm EST

By Terry Vanderheyden

VANCOUVER, December 8, 2005 ( – Heather MacNaughton, who chaired the three-panel BC Human Rights Tribunal in the mixed judgement of the Port Coquitlam Knights of Columbus v. two lesbians, is the same Justice who fined Christian printer Scott Brockie and denied an appeal by Christian teacher Chris Kempling.

In 2000, MacNaughton was the adjudicator in the Ontario Human Rights Commission decision against Scott Brockie, a Toronto printer, who was forced to pay $5,000 in damages for refusing to print stationary for The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. Brockie, who opposes homosexuality on religious grounds, politely asked the representative of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives to take their business to another printer in the Toronto area.

MacNaughton also ordered Brockie and his business, Imaging Excellence, to “provide the printing services that they provide to others, to lesbians and gays and to organizations in existence for their benefit.”

Last month, MacNaughton also chaired the BC Human Rights Tribunal when it denied Christian teacher Chris Kempling his complaint of religious discrimination against his employer, the Quesnel School District. Kempling brought the case after he was disciplined by the board for granting an interview to CBC Radio in December, 2003.Â

In the interview, which was conducted by phone on his Christmas vacation, Kempling explained the orientation change therapy services which he offers as part of his private counselling practice. Kempling, who holds two masters degrees and a doctorate in psychology, is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, and a clinical member of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.

Rev. Tristan Emmanuel, a leader in the movement to defend the family in Canada told that the decision was an outrage.“Dr. Kempling isn’t the only victim. All people of good will and conscience have been victimized by the tyranny of a few who are so desperate to legitimize a particular lifestyle that they will stop at nothing to strip away the fundamental rights of their critics, including one of the most fundamental rights of a free and democratic society, the right of dissent,” said Emmanuel.

There were many critical of the Tribunal’s ruling in the case of the Knights of Columbus v. Deborah Chymyshyn and Tracey Smith. After refusing the same-sex couple a hall for their same-sex “wedding,” the Knights were fined $2,000 for their supposed rudeness.

The Tribunal awarded Smith and Chymyshyn $1,000 each “for injury to their dignity, feelings and self-respect.” Although the tribunal upheld the right of the Knights to refuse a hall for a same-sex wedding, there was no clear justification given for why the group was fined.

The National Post, jumping into the fray, asked the rhetorical question: “When did the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal become Miss Manners? Enforcement of rules of etiquette are surely one responsibility that falls outside legitimate government power.”

“When Parliament passed the bill legalizing same-sex marriage, there was a great deal of concern that the new law would result in the infringement of the religious rights of groups opposed to such unions,” the Post author said. “That fear has not found support in the Knights’ case. But an equally vexing precedent has been set. The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has usurped the role of Emily Post.”

MacNaughton also decided a 2002 BC Human Rights case which awarded a transsexual woman (previously a man) $7,500 for injury to her dignity and ordered a Vancouver rape crisis centre to allow transsexual females to counsel women who are victims of rape. The 45 year old transsexual, Kimberly Nixon, had sex reassignment surgery in 1990.

See related coverage:
  See coverage: Knights of Columbus Forced to Pay Damages to Lesbians for Refusing to Rent Hall for “Wedding” Reception
  Lesbians Want More Than Just Fine for Knights of Columbus: Launch Appeal
  Human Rights Tribunal Rejects Complaint by B.C. Teacher Disciplined for Views on Homosexuality

Contact British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell
  Phone: 250 387-1715
  Fax: 250 387-0087
  Email: [email protected]
[email protected]
  PO Box 9041
  Victoria BC
  V8W 9E1

Contact the Tribunal at:
  1170 - 605 Robson Street
  Vancouver, B.C. V6B 5J3
  (604) 775-2000 phone
  (604) 775-2020 fax
  1-888-440-8844 toll free (in B.C.)
  Email address: [email protected]

  Contact Heather M. MacNaughton
  Chair, BC Human Rights Tribunal
  1170 - 605 Robson St.
  Vancouver, BC V6B 5J3
  Telephone: (604) 775-2014
  Facsimile: (604) 775-2020
  E-mail: [email protected]

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