Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Oh, Canada! WTF? Canadian Supreme Court Strikes Down Free Speech - Really!
And what is even more inexplicable, the Canadian press and many commentators seem to be perfectly fine with the decision.
In short, the decision holds that in Canada, if your words could reasonably be found to expose a person to "detestation and vilification" on grounds protected from discrimination, you can face substantial fines and punishment.
In the case of Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission v. William Whatcott, the Canadian Supreme Court upheld fines issues against a fervant anti-homosexual pastor. Bill Whatcott is known for his missives about the evil of homosexuality and abortion, and his campaign to criminalize homosexual acts in Canada.
Whatcott travelled around Canada speaking and distributing flyers containing incendiary language directed at gays and lesbians. The flyers at issue were "Sodomites in Our Schools" and "Keep Homosexuality out of Saskatoon's Public Schools!"
The flyers refer to homosexuals as sodomites. Whatcott writes that our children are in danger of everlasting damnation if gays are not stopped from making homosexual activity acceptable in our society.
Whatcott was fined $17,000 by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission on the basis that his flyers exposed homosexuals to hatred. He was not charged with any act -- for assault, for trespass, or even for disturbing the peace.
He was charged and fined for what he wrote.
More on this decision in my next post.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/imuttoo/2628589070/">Ian Muttoo</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ksawyer/4696686790/">K. Sawyer Photography</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>