OTTAWA, Ontario, December 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In much of the judicial world today arguments are made which don’t get to the heart of the issue, but are made to fit within judicial precedents and court standards in order to achieve specific rulings. That reality is often frustrating for the public who are led to wonder if the fullness of truth ever reaches the ears of judges called to provide justice.
It’s been nearly two months since the Supreme Court of Canada heard what will likely be the nation’s seminal case on homosexual ‘hate speech’ and religious freedom. The case, Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC) v. William Whatcott involves a well-known pro-family activist who pushes the boundaries of free speech with what many regard as crude flyers detailing the physical health risks of homosexual sex acts.
The Tribunal found that Whatcott had violated section 14(1)(b) of the province’s human rights code, which prohibits speech that “exposes or tends to expose to hatred, ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of any person or class of persons on the basis of a prohibited ground.” He was ordered to pay a $17,500 fine and to cease publicly spreading his beliefs about homosexuality (a ‘lifetime speech ban’ as Whatcott refers to it).
The Tribunal decision was upheld in 2007 by the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, but it was overturned in 2010 by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.
The man at the center of this case though is anything but hateful, especially towards those who suffer the ravages of AIDS due to their homosexual activity. In fact, Bill Whatcott was – until he was removed from his position for his political views, a homecare nurse who attended to hundreds of patients suffering from AIDS. He offered them professional care, but also took personal interest in their lives helping those he could and praying for them.
He has also walked in the shoes of those engaged in homosexual activity as he engaged in homosexual behaviour as a male prostitute to fund his drug addiction prior to a conversion to Christianity.
Whatcott is however controversial from just about any standpoint. Some of his flyers use graphic images taken from ‘gay pride’ parades to drive home his points about the degenerate nature of such parades. He uses the term ‘homofascism’ to describe the ideology he combats and uses the term ‘truth assault’ to characterize his mass distribution of disturbing flyers pointing to the danger of homosexual acts and the agenda promoting them.
He is also a man on a mission. After arriving in Ottawa at 2pm two days prior to the hearing, he and an assistant delivered 800 of his flyers to homes in various Ottawa suburbs by 11pm. He also dealt with a police officer responding to a complaint about his activities.
The next morning the pair delivered another 400 flyers while Whatcott took media calls at the same time. He was also accompanied on his leafleting by an enterprising journalist.
That afternoon he took his flyers to Carleton University where, after distributing flyers on 4 floors of the library, he was found out by a group of homosexual activist students who shouted to any and all to refuse to take the pamphlets. Shortly thereafter a security guard told him he had to leave campus to which he agreed after unsuccessfully trying to argue his case for freedom of speech.
Day three was taken up with the Supreme Court hearing. And what a hearing it was. The four-hour-long hearing had a record 21 interveners, more than any other Supreme Court case in the nation’s history.
And while it was true that arguments on legal technicalities and precedents were made by many of those interveners, the Justices did get to hear the straight goods. That came thanks to Whatcott’s lawyer Tom Schuck, a dedicated pro-life lawyer who has spent his life and legal career defending the defenders of life and family.