Quebec Human Rights Tribunal fines man $12,000 for ‘homophobic’ remarks
MONTREAL, January 17, 2011 (LifeSIteNews.com) - A Montreal man has been ordered to pay $12,000 to his homosexual neighbors for allegedly directing “homophobic” remarks at them, by the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal. The homosexual couple has a history of pursuing lawsuits and complaints against neighbors.
Theo Wouters and Roger Thibault had accused Gordon Lusk of calling them “faggots” during a June 2006 incident involving Mr. Lusk’s son.
Lusk, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Canadian military, was acquitted of charges of “homophobic comments,” death threats and threatening assault in a provincial court over the incident involving the two homosexuals who were alleged to have driven recklessly down their street, endangering the lives of children, including Mr. Lusk’s son, who were playing road hockey.
A witness of the incident testified at the court of law hearing that Thibault had run a stop sign and almost hit one of the children. The same witness testified that in an earlier incident Thibault had run over a tennis ball with which the children were playing road hockey.
Mr. Lusk maintained at the hearing in 2006 that when he was informed of the incident he went to speak with his neighbors but denied uttering death threats or threatening assault.
However, the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal, reportedly using evidence from hidden cameras at the homosexual couple’s home, ruled “by a preponderance of evidence, that the defendant, by his behaviour, his comments and his attitude, has violated the rights of the plaintiffs, on the basis of their sexual orientation,” and ordered Lusk to pay the homosexuals “moral and punitive” damages.
The homosexual couple, who are reported to have a history of pursuing lawsuits and complaints against neighbors whom they believe have “homophobic” attitudes, told the National Post they were “very happy” with the Human Rights Tribunal ruling, saying “It sends a message to the rest of Canada that homophobia is not acceptable.”
“It is good for the gay community and it is good for us,” one of the homosexuals told the CBC. “We hope that all the harassment, finally, will stop in our neighbourhood.”
The National Post, however, reported that the homosexual couple was recently required to provide a written apology to another neighbor stating their complaints were “baseless,” after that neighbor, who they had accused of “homophobic” harassment, was acquitted in a court of law.
Mr. Lusk’s lawyer, Stephen Angers, questioned the tribunal’s ruling, wondering how a human rights tribunal can ignore the ruling of a court of law and stating that they appear to be “in another world.”
“It makes no sense that Mr. Lusk could be acquitted in a Quebec court and then found liable for moral and punitive damages in front of a human rights tribunal,” Mr. Angers said according to the National Post. “These tribunals are just in another world.”
In a similar vein, the word “faggot” made headlines on the weekend when the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) banned the 1985 hit “Money for Nothing” by the rock band Dire Straits, from radio stations nationwide, because it contains three instances of the word.
The CBSC, which is an independent body created by broadcasters themselves, reviewed the 26 year old song after receiving a single complaint and found the lyrics to be “unacceptable”, contravening the human rights clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ code of ethics.
The song takes the perspective of a hardware store salesman watching music videos and bemoaning the fact that these performers or “faggots” can earn so much money doing nothing.
Though Dire Straits has not performed as a group since 1995, the group’s keyboardist, Guy Fletcher, called the CBSC ruling “a waste of paper.”
“I reckon Canada could ban about 75% of all records ever made,” he wrote on his website. “What a waste of paper. The fact that the [CBSC] can make a ruling such as this, completely missing the context in which it’s used, says rather a lot about the society in which we live.”