NewsMon Nov 13, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
Regina Family Activist Will Refuse to Pay $17,500 Fine for Homosexual Hurt Feelings
By Hilary White
REGINA, November 13, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A life and family activist in Regina, Saskatchewan, has said he will not pay a $17,500 fine ordered by Saskatchewan’s Human Rights Tribunal for what the Tribunal has ruled is a “a clear pattern or practice of disregard for protected rights.”
The Regina Leader Post reports that Bill Whatcott has said he would not pay, even if the Regina Court of Queen’s Bench rules he must. The court heard the case on Thursday and Justice Fred Kovach reserved his decision.
Whatcott, an evangelical Christian and a licensed practical nurse, was instructed to pay the money to the four persons who complained when, in 2001 and 2002, Whatcott distributed flyers that denounced the teaching of acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle in schools.
Whatcott’s lawyer, Thomas Schuck, said that the ruling of the Tribunal creates a “chill” on freedom of speech and religious expression. “Mr. Whatcott is not alone in his belief that children should be protected from new fads in morality,” Schuck said in court.
Whatcott is a long-time pro-life and family campaigner who has frequently clashed with police and MP’s for his vocal opposition to abortion and homosexuality. In June 2002, Whatcott “led” the Regina Gay Pride parade, walking in the front of the parade with a sign that said, “Bare Bottomed Pitifuls are Celebrating Buggery in Regina. God Help Us!”
Whatcott has also been fined by his own union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, that strongly supports the homosexual political lobby, for his opposition to “gay marriage,” and various public protests.
Janice Gingell, lawyer for the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission summarized the position of the homosexual lobby, arguing, “Sexual orientation is a protected category under the code and you are not allowed to say things that will cause other people to feel hatred or ridicule or belittlement towards members of those protected categories.”
But Whatcott responded that only facts, not hurt feelings, ought to count in law. “If you can find factual inaccuracies in my flyers or if you can find that I said something in bad faith, at that point there should be civil penalties,” he said. “I’d be the first one to agree with that.”
The Leader Post quotes Whatcott: “If I’m lying by saying that homosexuals are predisposed to sexually transmitted diseases at a rate greater than the general population, by all means find me liable for slander. If I’m wrong in saying….that there is a predisposition in homosexuality towards the sexual abuse of children, if that can be factually proven to be wrong, find me guilty of libel. But don’t tell me that I can’t say something that is true.”
Whatcott has vowed to continue distributing his flyers with about 3,500 more to go out on Thursday.