Welcome Ezra Levant Readers! We support your man’s standing up to the Canadian thought police! But, don’t know that I’d call myself a “gay activist.” 🙂
In the update to my post on the politically correct investigation of an Irish politician’s wife for her intemperate remarks on homosexuality, I linked Mark Hemingway’s Corner piece on the result of a similar investigation in the Canadian province of Alberta.
An Alberta Human Rights (sic) Panel issued a ruling last month punishing the Reverend Stephen Boissoin for “causing to be published” in the Red Deer Advocate (a community newspaper in that Alberta town) in 2002 a letter which “was likely to expose homosexuals to hatred or contempt because of their sexual orientation.”
As a result of the allegedly hurtful contents of his letter, the Panel ordered Boissoin and his group, the Concerned Christian Coalition to:
. . . cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals. Further, they shall not and are prohibited from making disparaging remarks in the future about Dr. Lund [the anti-Christian activist who filed the complaint] or Dr. Lund’s witnesses relating to their involvement in this complaint. Further, all disparaging remarks versus homosexuals are directed to be removed from current web sites and publications of Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc.
Boissoin also had to publish an apology and pay a fine. He remains defiant, vowing not pay “unless failing to do so prevents my ability to appeal.”
Calling this, “the most revolting order I have ever seen in Canada,” Ezra Levant offers a more thorough dissection of this latest action of the Canadian kangaroo courts, officially known as Human Rights panels.
In this particular panel’s substantive ruling, Lori G. Andreachuk, the arbiter deciding the case, finds that “the publication’s exposure of homosexuals to hatred and contempt trumps the freedom of speech afforded in the Charter.” That charter is the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms. Seems a pretty flimsy charter if one bureaucrat can dismiss its protections with the flick of her wrist.
At least one Canadian gay activist joins yours truly in believing that Ms. Andreachuk got it backwards. Gilles Marchildon, executive director of Egale, an “organization that advances equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-identified people and their families across Canada,” writes:
While it is difficult to support Boissoin’s right to spew his misguided and vitriolic thoughts, support his right, we must.
If Boissoin was no longer able to share his views, then who might be next in also having their freedom of expression limited. Traditionally, the LGBT community’s freedom has been repressed by society and its laws.
Plus, it is far better that Boissoin expose his views than have them pushed underground. Under the glaring light of public scrutiny, his ideas will most likely wither and die.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Nice to see a leader of a gay rights’ organization standing up for free speech even if that speech is as hateful and ignorant as that of Boission.
Let us hope that more gay leaders join Marchildon in criticizing those busybodies who seek to protect us from being offended. If governments prevent anti-gay ministers like Mr. Boissoin from publicly expressing their ideas, it will become increasingly difficult for gay advocates to develop arguments to challenge them.
We don’t win the battle of ideas by silencing our opponents, but by engaging them. And we can only engage them if we know what they are saying.