‘Hate speech’? LGBT activist blasts gov’t tribunal for saying he was ‘born as male’
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, September 26, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A Vancouver transgender “woman” wants the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to alter an interim ruling to delete the statement he “was born as a male.”
“This is incorrect and is not set out in any of the Complainant’s materials,” wrote Susanna Quail, lawyer for Morgane, formerly known as Ronan Oger.
“Ms. Oger requests that this sentence be removed, or if it is relevant to specify Ms. Oger’s gender identity the sentence could be corrected to state ‘Ms. Oger is a transgender woman.’”
Oger was the NDP candidate for the inner-city Vancouver-False Creek riding in the province’s May election.
Reputedly the first transgendered person to run in the provincial election (the Green Party then ran two and the Liberals one), Oger lost the cliffhanger election by 560 votes.
He has now filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT) against Christian activist Bill Whatcott.
Oger alleges Whatcott distributed two flyers during the campaign that were discriminatory and exposed him to “hatred and contempt” under Section 7 of B.C.’s Human Rights Code.
A longtime LGBT activist and chair of the Trans Alliance Society, Oger helped draft the NDP’s transgender rights policy to add gender expression and identity to the Code, according to Metro News.
B.C.’s Liberal government passed a law doing so in July 2016.
Whatcott wanted to “share my concern about the promotion and growth of homosexuality and transvestitism in British Columbia and how it is obscuring the immutable truth about our God-given gender,” he wrote in the flyers.
“The truth is there are only two genders, male and female, and they are God given and unchangeable,” he wrote.
People can’t change their biological sex, but can “only cross dress and disfigure themselves with surgery and hormones to look like the gender they are not,” Whatcott noted.
“This practice is harmful and displeasing to God.”
Oger believes “he has a right to run for political office with nobody criticizing him for his number one choice of activism,” Whatcott told LifeSiteNews. “What kind of whacked-out democracy is that?”
In the course of pursuing Oger’s complaint, Human Rights Tribunal member Walter Rilkoff issued a September 8 ruling on interveners in the case.
“Ms. Oger was born as a male but identifies as a female,” Rilkoff noted in the ruling.
Oger’s lawyer, Quail, thereupon asked a case manager to “correct” the decision by deleting the paragraph, prompting an email exchange Whatcott published on his website Free North America.
The case manager replied Rilkoff “does not understand where the error is.”
“Ms. Oger was not born as a male,” Quail wrote.
Whatcott then countered that Oger’s French birth certificate — as well as his DNA — would attest he was a male at birth.
Rilkoff settled the matter by noting that “changing a decision after it is published is an extraordinary step designed to correct obvious errors.”
Oger had not “persuaded” him the ruling contained such an error.
But Rilkoff also rebuked Whatcott for being “disrespectful (and in my view deliberately so)” in his submissions on this point.
Whatcott “has already been admonished that if he does not wish to refer to Ms. Oger as such, or refer to her as “she” or “her," he is to refer to Ms. Oger as ‘the Complainant,’” Rilkoff wrote.
He also issued a stern warning that “[f]ailure to abide by this directive will likely lead to an order of costs against Mr. Whatcott and may lead to the Tribunal refusing to accept or to hear submissions that violate this directive.”
This shows Rilkoff’s bias, Whatcott told LifeSiteNews. “These guys have already made up their mind, they’ve already told me not to call Ronan a guy.”
Whatcott expects the tribunal to set a date for the hearing in January.
He could be fined $75,000 if found guilty. If he doesn’t pay the fine, he could be charged with contempt of court and sentenced to jail.
“Calling someone a dude is a serious business,” Whatcott observed.
The Human Rights Tribunal is basing its case on the Supreme Court Whatcott decision that defined “hate speech,” he said.
But these flyers don’t “even come close” to that standard, Whatcott added.
This demonstrates “there’s nothing objective about hate speech laws” but that they are “subjective and entirely open to abuse when you go down that slippery road.”