Ontario KofC Resolve to Defend Religious Liberty against Canadian Human Rights Tribunals
May 21, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - At their annual general meeting this past weekend, the Ontario State Council of the Knights of Columbus passed a resolution to defend religious liberty in light of the fact that the "Canadian Human Rights tribunals have brought charges which are inconsistent with principles of religious liberty."
"Several cases have been brought before Human Rights Tribunals," says the resolution, "wherein defendants who have expressed their opinion on public policy matters, based upon their understanding of their faith, have been required to defend themselves, at great expense, for violating ‘hate speech’ laws."
"Religious freedom," it continues, "encompasses freedom of speech, assembly and conscience, and as such, is not a benefit that a government confers out of a sense of mere tolerance, which it could remove, but rather it is an inalienable right rooted in the transcendent dignity of every human being."
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunals have received much media attention in recent years due to controversies over its treatment of cases having to do with freedom of religion and speech. In a notable case in 2008, a Christian group that does ministry with the disabled, named Christian Horizons, was fined and forced to undergo pro-homosexual "human rights training" because they required their employees to live according to basic Christian values.
In another case, Christian pastor Steve Boissoin was fined several thousand dollars, forced to apologize to the complainant, and ordered never again to speak "disparagingly" about homosexuality, after he wrote a letter to the editor of a local paper objecting to the radical homosexualist agenda.
"BE IT RESOLVED," the KofC resolution first concludes, "that we resist the trend to treat religion as a purely private matter, and pledge our support for those who have been intimidated or harassed as a result of expressing their opinions on public policy matters based upon their understanding of the Catholic faith."
And secondly, concludes the resolution, "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Ontario State Council urge the Ontario and Canadian governments to review their current Human Rights Act legislation to ensure our laws are consistent with the principles of religious liberty as stated herein."
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Ontario Knights of Columbus Throw Full Support Behind March for Life - Will Subsidize Bus Trips
Ontario Human Rights Tribunal Ruling Denies Christian Ministry’s Right to be Christian