University of Saskatchewan issues campus safety alert over ‘truth about homosexuality’ pamphlets
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, December 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The administration of the University of Saskatchewan issued a campus-wide safety advisory last week in reaction to a pro-life activist distributing pamphlets exposing the harms of homosexuality to students and staff.
U of S officials sent out the advisory on Thursday morning, according to a local newspaper report, after pro-life and anti-homosexuality activist Bill Whatcott spent Wednesday, December 5, at the school handing out flyers titled “Say No to the Homosexual Agenda!”
The flyer lists some of the health consequences related to sodomy and defends the Christian perspective of sex and marriage.
This flyer, along with another titled “Say No to Abortion!” are part of Whatcott’s “Operation Education on Abortion and Sodomy” campaign.
“I became aware of the University of Saskatchewan’s decision to issue a campus wide safety alert over my flyers after I received a call from the CBC,” Whatcott told LifeSiteNews.
“My understanding of campus safety alerts, is they are usually for serious issues such as potential sexual predators or school shooters, not someone handing out flyers.”
U of S associate vice-president of student affairs David Hannah told the local paper that school officials were aware that Whatcott was within his rights of free speech to hand out the flyers, but were worried that some students or faculty might need counselling after reading Whatcott’s flyers.
“Based on our understanding of the law, this individual has the legal right to distribute his views and so we didn’t do anything to stop him,” Hannah said.
Earlier this year the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench upheld a lower court decision that acquitted Whatcott of trespassing charges for distributing “Truth about homosexuality” pamphlets at the University of Calgary in 2008.
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In 2010 Whatcott won an appeal in Saskatchewan when Justice Darla Hunter of Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal overturned a 2006 Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal ruling that found him guilty of violating the province’s human rights code by publicly criticizing homosexuality through a series of flyers he distributed in Saskatoon and Regina in 2001 and 2002.
“The precedents set in Alberta and Saskatchewan will make it almost impossible for any university in Canada to secure a conviction against a pro-lifer who speaks up on campus,” said Whatcott.
Whatcott said that the University of Saskatchewan “hasn’t changed its desire to censor free speech on pro-life issues,” but pointed out that as a result of the court decisions, “They know that if they arrest me, they’ll be on the receiving end of a lawsuit. That is why they did nothing to stop the distribution of the flyers but instead put out a campus safety alert.”
Repeated requests to David Hannah for comment on what safety concerns Whatcott’s flyers presented were not returned by press time.
University of Saskatchewan
David Hannah, Associate Vice President, Student Affairs
Email: [email protected]