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Canadian Supreme Court Rules Biblical Speech Opposing Homosexual Behavior is a ‘Hate Crime’

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Ottawa, Ontario – The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Biblical speech opposing homosexual behavior, including in written form, is essentially a hate crime.

On Wednesday, the court upheld the conviction of activist William Whatcott, who found himself in hot water after distributing flyers regarding the Bible’s prohibitions against homosexuality throughout the Saskatoon and Regina neighborhoods in 2001 and 2002. The 7-judge panel consisted of Justices Beverly McLachlin, Louis LeBel, Marie Deschamps, Morris Fish, Rosalie Abellia, Marshall Rothstein and Thomas Cromwell.

“The Bible is clear that homosexuality is an abomination,” one flyer that was found to be in violation stated, citing 1 Corinthians 6:9. “Scripture records that Sodom and Gomorrah was given over completely to homosexual perversion and as a result destroyed by God’s wrath.”

Another flyer, entitled Keep Homosexuality Out of Saskatoon’s Public Schools, was written in response to the recommendation of the Saskatoon School Board that homosexuality be included in school curriculum. The Supreme Court declared the document to be unlawful because it called the homosexual acts that would be taught to children “filthy,” and contended that children are more interested in playing Ken and Barbie than “learning how wonderful it is for two men to sodomize each other.” The justices ruled that because the use of the word “sodomy” only referred to “two men” and not also the sex acts of heterosexuals, it was a direct target against a specific group of people.


Two other flyers that expressed outrage at the male solicitation of sex with boys in a local publication were not found to be in violation of the statute, in part because Whatcott’s citation of Luke 17:2 was not clear on whether it only referred to homosexuals. The verse, which he had handwritten on the handouts, quotes from Jesus Christ.

“If you cause one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better that a millstone was tied around your neck and you were cast into the sea,” it read.

The court insinuated that the Scripture could have been an issue like the other references if used in a way to pertain solely to homosexual persons.

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Whatcott had distributed the flyers over a decade ago to raise awareness of his concerns about both the homosexual parades in Canada, as well as the vulnerability of children in a culture that promotes homosexuality. However, when Canada’s Human Rights Commission found out about the matter, they took him to court, citing him with a hate crime.

The Supreme Court noted in its opinion, among other concerns, that Whatcott’s use of the Bible to target homosexuals was a problem.

“[Whatcott's] expression portrays the targeted group as a menace that could threaten the safety and well-being of others, makes reference to respected sources (in this case the Bible) to lend credibility to the negative generalizations, and uses vilifying and derogatory representations to create a tone of hatred,” the panel ruled on Wednesday.

It pointed back to the lower court ruling, which asserted, “While the courts cannot be drawn into the business of attempting to authoritatively interpret sacred texts such as the Bible, those texts will typically have characteristics which cannot be ignored if they are to be properly assessed in relation to … the [Hate Crimes] Code.”

The judges did note, however, that “it would only be unusual circumstances and context that could transform a simple reading or publication of a religion’s holy text into what could objectively be viewed as hate speech.”

Commentator Andrew Coyne noted that the wording of Canada’s hate crimes law is problematic because it leaves much discretion in the hands of law enforcement.

“The code itself outlaws material that ‘exposes or tends to expose to hatred’ any person or group, on the usual list of prohibited grounds. It is not necessary, that is, to show the material in question actually exposes anyone to hatred — only that it might,” he advised. “The Court then upholds the ban on the grounds that the hatred to which individuals might or might not be exposed might in turn lead others to believe things that might cause them to act in certain unspecified but clearly prejudicial ways: it ‘has the potential to incite or inspire discriminatory treatment,’ or ‘risks’ doing so, or is ‘likely’ to, or at any rate ‘can.’”

Whatcott has now been ordered to pay $7,500 to two homosexuals who took offense at his flyers, as well as to pay the legal fees of the Human Rights Commission — which could cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“The ruling and the reasoning [of the court] is terrible,” he told reporters. “They actually used the concept that truth is not a defense.”

“It’s worse than I expected,” Whatcott added. “What it means is that my life is over as I know it.”

A much different ruling came out of the Alberta Court of Appeals last October, as Pastor Stephen Boissoin was likewise facing hate crimes charges for submitting an op-ed to a local newspaper that outlined his beliefs about homosexual behavior. In releasing its opinion, the court said that Boissoin had a right to express his beliefs on matters such as homosexuality as long as they were focused on a behavior and not a specific person.

“Matters of morality, including the perceived morality of certain types of sexual behavior, are topics for discussion in the public forum. Frequently, expression on these topics arises from deep seated religious conviction, and is not always temperate,” the panel advised. “Boissoin and others have the freedom to think, whether stemming from their religious convictions or not, that  homosexuality is sinful and morally wrong. In my view, it follows that they have the right to express that thought to others.”

However, the Supreme Court of Canada declared Wednesday that oftentimes, it is impossible to say that one loves the sinner and hates the sin. It asserted that the hatred of the act was inseparable from hating the person or person group.

“I agree that sexual orientation and sexual behaviour can be differentiated for certain purposes,” the court outlined. “However, in instances where hate speech is directed toward behaviour in an effort to mask the true target, the vulnerable group, this distinction should not serve to avoid [the hate-crime clause of the Code].”

While speech opposing homosexuality remains legal in the United States, some note that the nation is heading in the same direction as Canada, as discrimination laws are being enforced by state Human Rights Commissions across the country.

A number of incidents have made headlines in recent years where American businesses have been punished for their refusal to accommodate the homosexual lifestyle, such as the story of a photographer in New Mexico that was forced to pay $700 in fines for declining to shoot a same-sex commitment service, to the Vermont bed and breakfast owners who settled a lawsuit with two lesbians who were told by an employee that they could not hold their commitment service on the property. A Kentucky t-shirt screening company was also recently punished for declining to complete a work order involving t-shirts that were to be worn at a local homosexual pride parade.

http://christiannews.net/2013/02/28/canadian-supreme-court-rules-biblical-speech-opposing-homosexual-behavior-is-a-hate-crime/

by on May. 13, 2013 at 6:46 PM
Replies (31-40):
DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on May. 13, 2013 at 11:06 PM

I don't agree with what the guy did, but this ruling is pushing it a bit far IMO. 

LavenderMom23
by Bronze Member on May. 13, 2013 at 11:09 PM
2 moms liked this

It's his religion, but we all know Christianity is the last acceptable prejudice. We are going to see spiritual battles now, we are going to see Christian persecution in the West. The Supreme Court needs to understand that people are going to disagree but as long as no one is throwing bricks...he had a right to voice what over a billion people on this Earth believe@ the Bible

AlekD
by Gold Member on May. 13, 2013 at 11:12 PM
2 moms liked this
Correct me if i am wrong but isnt hate speech usually defined as speech with the purpose of inciting violence against another group? When i say that homosexual relations dont reflect the philosophy my faith has towards family and sexual morality i am not inciting violence towards them and doesnt mean I hate them. I am wondering how exactly Canada will define "hate speech" now, because from this article it makes it seem like they are defining any expression of belief contrary to mainstream morality as hate speech, which i have a problem with.
paganbaby
by Teflon Don on May. 13, 2013 at 11:13 PM


Quoting kailu1835:

That's pushing it. How about educating the masses about what the Bible REALLY says in all those verses that get erroneously used to justify hatred against homosexuality?


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daisykat
by on May. 13, 2013 at 11:19 PM
1 mom liked this
Quoting chloedee:



Yes, I do realize that. I just feel that anywhere they're muffling someone because of a religious belief is a dangerous precedent to set. Is he extreme? NO DOUBT. But now I hear there's more to the story, that he was harassing people at their business. Clearly this guy is crossing the line, but it's not "hate speech."
Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on May. 13, 2013 at 11:21 PM
1 mom liked this
Freedom of speech in Canada is very different than in the US. In the US we don't require the news to be truthful like they do in Canada. In the US we don't have real hate speech laws like they do in Canada. And the cases cited in the US are not about freedom of speech at all, they are about discrimination. Although the 2 countries share a border & a continent, they are completely different legal systems. Don't like Canada's laws, don't live there!

As for "truth", the Bible may be that man's truth but it isn't everyone's & it can't be used legally in Canada for hate speech. He should live in the US, clearly, where religion was used for years to justify racism, is still used to justify sexism, & is still being used to justify homophobia like his.
Momniscient
by Ruby Member on May. 13, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Lol. Nope. You are in fact more than free to take yourself out of society.

Isn't that what you want to do because society doesn't conform to your ideas? I support you leaving. Enjoy your solitude.


Quoting daisykat:

Quoting Momniscient:




Hmmm.... You're pissy with me about what I said in another post, so you decide to take it up again over here? Grow up.
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Lorik1969
by Bronze Member on May. 13, 2013 at 11:26 PM
If the OP's article is correct, they no longer have the right to express their opinion. I also think it's wrong to label someone because they have a different opinion on a "politically correct" topic. I think you can challenge their opinion, but labeling them as "haters" is just as wrong.


Quoting chloedee:

Everyone has a right to express their opinion. They don't have a right to a positive reception.




Quoting Lorik1969:

While I agree with much of the policies of the left, it's true that opposing them makes you racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. The left embodies "political correctness". In a free country you should be able to speak your opinion without it being labeled "hate".






Quoting FromAtoZ:


Quoting daisykat:

We're doomed. Now if you have a viewpoint that opposes the philosophy of the liberal left, you can be imprisoned or fined, you have to keep your mouth shut. Whether or not you agree with this man's opinions, we should ALL be alarmed about the chipping away of freedom of speech. I realize this is Canada, not the US, but it's very much in the realm of possibility it could happen here.







I think I'm going to just hole up in a cabin on a mountaintop somewhere and ignore society. Shit like this makes me insane.

What is that, exactly?




Momniscient
by Ruby Member on May. 13, 2013 at 11:26 PM
1 mom liked this
Yep where a whole segment apparently froths that a legal system up north doesn't conform to their American standards of justifying bigotry.

Quoting Bookwormy:

Freedom of speech in Canada is very different than in the US. In the US we don't require the news to be truthful like they do in Canada. In the US we don't have real hate speech laws like they do in Canada. And the cases cited in the US are not about freedom of speech at all, they are about discrimination. Although the 2 countries share a border & a continent, they are completely different legal systems. Don't like Canada's laws, don't live there!



As for "truth", the Bible may be that man's truth but it isn't everyone's & it can't be used legally in Canada for hate speech. He should live in the US, clearly, where religion was used for years to justify racism, is still used to justify sexism, & is still being used to justify homophobia like his.
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Momniscient
by Ruby Member on May. 13, 2013 at 11:27 PM
1 mom liked this
It is in Canada.

Quoting daisykat:

Quoting chloedee:




Yes, I do realize that. I just feel that anywhere they're muffling someone because of a religious belief is a dangerous precedent to set. Is he extreme? NO DOUBT. But now I hear there's more to the story, that he was harassing people at their business. Clearly this guy is crossing the line, but it's not "hate speech."
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
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