Supreme Court refuses to revisit Whatcott ‘hate speech’ ruling
OTTAWA, Ontario, April 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Supreme Court of Canada declined to reconsider its February 27 ruling against Christian activist Bill Whatcott that found him guilty of “hate speech” against homosexuals.
“The Supreme Court remains determined to uphold the fantasy that my so-called ‘hate speech’ has the potential of preventing homosexuals from expressing themselves or leading to genocide,” wrote Whatcott on his blog after the decision was released on Thursday.
The court dismissed the application for a re-hearing “without costs.”
Whatcott’s lawyer Tom Schuck said in a press release in March that a re-hearing was requested based on the Court’s conclusion that Whatcott had labeled homosexuals as “pedophiles” in the pamphlets which were the basis of the case, and which the court found to be hateful. However, Whatcott has said that he made no such claim or statement.
“We submitted the Supreme Court of Canada erred when they ruled my factually honest speech [titled] ‘homosexuals at higher risk of AIDS, at higher risk of sexually molesting children, etc.’ was hate speech,” wrote Whatcott on his blog.
“We are also arguing they erred when they claimed I called all homosexuals pedophiles. Nowhere in my flyers did I ever make this claim,” he said.
In the February ruling, Judge Rothstein stated: “Whether or not Mr. Whatcott intended his expression to incite hatred against homosexuals, in my view it was reasonable for the Tribunal to hold that, by equating homosexuals with carriers of disease, sex addicts, pedophiles and predators who would proselytize vulnerable children and cause their premature death, Flyers D and E would objectively be seen as exposing homosexuals to detestation and vilification.”
Whatcott has responded that he never said or wrote that “homosexuals were all pedophiles,’’ saying that “such a statement was not present on either of the offending pamphlets.”
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In the two flyers that the Court found to be hateful, pedophilia is mentioned once, when Whatcott claims that homosexuals are "three times more likely to sexually abuse children."
"Our children will pay the price in disease, death, abuse and ultimately eternal judgment if we do not say no to the sodomite desire to socialize your children into accepting something that is clearly wrong,” the flyer reads.
Schuck argued that had Whatcott labeled homosexuals as pedophiles, then it “would have been the most significant evidence of hate speech” because such a label “would clearly be untrue.” But he said, if Whatcott did not actually label all homosexuals as pedophiles, as Whatcott maintains, then the “most significant of all of the evidence used by the Court” to arrive at its decision would no longer be relevant.
Critics saw the February ruling as a dangerous restriction of freedom for all Canadians, especially for Christians. In particular, many expressed concern that the court appeared to rule that truth was no longer a defense. Critics also took the court to task for appearing to conflate sexual orientation with sexual conduct, deeming there to be a “strong connection between sexual orientation and sexual conduct and where the conduct targeted by speech is a crucial aspect of the identity of a vulnerable group, attacks on this conduct stand as proxy for attacks on the group itself”.
Christians who use the Bible as a springboard to promote a Christian vision of sexuality, which includes, among other things, teaching that homosexual acts are sinful, could now because of the ruling be accused of promoting hate speech, critics say.
Gwen Landolt of REAL Women of Canada told LifeSiteNews that in the ruling the Supreme Court “picked up ‘sexual orientation’ and slammed ‘religious freedom’ with it.”
The court ordered Whatcott pay $7,500 in fines and to pay court costs, which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Despite the ruling, Whatcott has continued to hand out flyers at universities and in neighborhoods.