Fri Mar 3, 2000 - 12:15 pm EST

TORONTO, Mar 3 ( - In a Feb. 24 decision, made public yesterday, the Ontario Human Rights Commission fined a Christian printer in Toronto $5,000 for refusing a printing job from a homosexual activist organization. The National Post reports today that Heather MacNaughton, the board’s sole “judge” ruled that Scott Brockie, the owner of Imaging Excellence Inc., violated Ontario law when he declined to print letterhead, envelopes, and business cards for the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in April, 1996.

Brockie argued that his right to “fundamental freedom of conscience and religion” should be protected, especially since he was not providing an “essential service”. “I didn’t discriminate against the person. I discriminated against the philosophy, the lifestyle, the cause,” he told the Post.

MacNaughton said in her ruling: “Brockie remains free to hold his religious beliefs and to practice them in his home, and in his Christian community. He is free to espouse those beliefs and to educate others as to them. He remains free to try to persuade elected representatives ... that the [Human Rights Code] protections currently granted to the lesbian and gay community, are wrong,” wrote Heather MacNaughton.

“What he is not free to do, when he enters the public marketplace and offers services to the public in Ontario, is to practice those beliefs in a manner that discriminates against lesbians and gays by denying them a service available to everyone else.”

Brockie told the Post that his company has refused business on one previous occasion when it was approached by a pro-choice organization several years ago. “I’m not prepared to compromise my beliefs for the sake of a printing job,” he said.  He said he would challenge the ruling in a court of law.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission is headed by homosexual activist Keith Norton who was appointed to the position by the Harris government.

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