|Speech Ban Lifted on Canadian Pastor|
|(Remnant News Watch December 31, 2009)|
|REMNANT COLUMNIST, New York|
(Posted 01/13/10 www.RemnantNewspaper.com) In July of 2002 a complaint was filed by Darren Lund, a high school teacher, with the Alberta Human Rights Commission after the Red Deer Advocate Newspaper published a letter to the editor titled “Homosexual Agenda Wicked,” written by Stephen Boissoin (of the Concerned Christian Coalition Inc.), a Protestant minister. The complaint accused Boissoin of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation contrary to Section 3 of Canada’s Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act.
During a November 30, 2007 hearing before the Human Rights Panel, which was chaired by Lori G. Andreachuk, a divorce lawyer (not a specialist in constitutional law), Boissoin said: “When homosexuals or pro-homosexual activists are teaching children that homosexuality is normal, necessary, acceptable, and productive, and as far as I understand, using my tax dollars as well to do so, I not only have a right to speak up about it, but I felt that I had an obligation.”
Mr. Boissoin was convicted by the Commission and received, in addition to a $5,000 fine and an order to write a letter of apology, both a lifetime ban on preaching sermons that criticize homosexuality and a lifetime ban on private communications (such as e-mails) that are critical of homosexuality.
On December 5, 2009, Mark Steyn reported (in the National Review) that the ban has been lifted:
The Court of Queen's Bench in Alberta has now struck down this outrageous decision. Mr. Justice Wilson's ruling could not be plainer. He rejects all the Tribunal's punishments as "illegal," not least the speech ban:
The direction to cease and desist the publishing of “disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals” is beyond the power of the Panel. "Disparaging remarks" were not defined by the Panel. But clearly, "disparaging remarks" are remarks much less serious than hateful and contemptuous remarks and are quite lawful to make. They are beyond the power of the Act to regulate and the power of the Province to restrain.
On his website, Boissoin announced the decision and added:
The Alberta Human Rights Commission's ruling against me was absurd. Let me be clear, I will never apologize regardless of the consequences. I stand by my right to have an opinion and to equally express that opinion in private and in the public square. I will exercise that God given right as long as I live. All across Canada, pastors, priests, Christian teachers and private citizens who vocalize their disagreement with the pro-gay social engineering of our society, are being brought before various forms of Kangaroo Courts. These morally liberal activists are opposed to our Constitutional freedoms of speech and religion. They persecute us for our opposing beliefs and for speaking out against their agenda. As one journalist put it, their rallying cry is, “If I hate what you say, I’ll accuse you of hate.” This agenda is attempting to manipulate and deceive society into accepting homosexuality, pro-gay school curriculums that omit any balanced opinion, gay marriage, gay adoption etc., as if these were normal behaviours. THEY ARE NOT!!! They are attempting to silence any opposition to their agenda by deeming it hateful, fanatical, homophobic, bigoted. Those who have the courage to voice opposition, no matter how qualified, are targeted for re-education, persecution and prosecution. http://www.stephenboissoin.com/
Comment: In her original ruling, Lori G. Andreachuk stated, “In this case, the publication’s exposure of homosexuals to hatred and contempt trumps the freedom of speech afforded in the Charter [i.e., Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms].” The language is crucial here, because Andreachuk manipulates the terms of her equation. She equates a critique of the radical homosexual agenda (i.e., “gay” school curricula) with “exposure of homosexuals to hatred and contempt.” Then, she proposes a false equation – Boissoin’s comments = hatred:
Having considered the Charter and the balancing of the freedoms set out in the Charter, I have interpreted the Act in a manner which respected the broad protection granted to religious freedom. However, I have found that this protection does not trump the protection afforded under the Alberta human rights legislation .... In this case, the publication’s exposure of homosexuals to hatred and contempt trumps the freedom of speech afforded in the Charter. It cannot be the case that any speech wrapped in the ‘guise’ of politics or religion is beyond reproach by any legislation but the Criminal Code.
And, to be sure, Andreachuck left no stone unturned for “evidence” against Boissoin. She complained about his making “erroneous connections between homosexuality and disease,” “analogies between homosexuality and pedophilia,” and his “militaristic tone” – i.e., “My banner has been raised and war has now been declared.”
In his new ruling (dated December 3, 2009), Judge E.C. Wilson countered Andreachuck’s absurdities with the facts taken from Boissoin’s original letter:
· [Re: Disease & Pedophilia] “Complaints about factual error or false reasoning by the author would seem to be properly met, at least at first instance, by counter speech correcting those failures – not by restraining the remarks. But more importantly the panel appears to have misread the letter. For example, the only reference to disease in the whole letter was to “psychological disease” – whatever that might be. But clearly the reference wasn’t to bodily diseases or illnesses as that word is usually defined. Secondly, the letter’s reference to homosexuality and pedophilia was only to individuals involved in NAMBLA – the North American Man/Boy Lover’s Association. Inasmuch as such an organization did exist (and may still exist) the Appellant’s comment can hardly constitute a false analogy.
· [Re: Militaristic Tone] “A fair reading of the letter reveals that the author’s language choice was for metaphorical purposes. With respect, no one could reasonably read the letter as a ‘call to arms.’ By analogy, critics might reflect upon the language contained in the well-known hymn ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’. Surely no one can reasonably suggest that Christians singing the hymn at Sunday church services are being called upon to march in an actual war with non-Christians.”
Judge Wilson described Andreachuk’s original ruling as “mystifying,” as it was based upon “an absence of evidence.” He stated that the Panel “ignored the burden of proof reposing on the complainant to establish his case,” and also “failed to explain why the unchallenged sworn testimony of the Appellant on this point should be wholly ignored.”
No one with a lick of sense left in his head needs a 38-page judicial ruling to know that Stephen Boissoin was railroaded by those who wanted to make of him yet another “example” to those who dare speak out against the radical homosexual agenda. Still, it is good to see it in black and white, albeit with reservations. Judge Wilson refers to the language of Boissoin’s letter as “jarring, offensive, bewildering, puerile, nonsensical, and insulting,” although it does not go far enough to constitute “hate” or “contemp.” His ruling on behalf of Boissoin, while welcome, is not a body blow to the Hate Industry juggernaut. It upholds the hate-speech laws already in place. This was an individual victory for Boissoin. Still, it is a victory that is officially “on the books.”
In a December 6, 2009 editorial posted on his website (http://ezralevant.com), author and attorney Ezra Levant reveals a very cogent lesson to be learned from the Boissoin affair:
So lesson number one here is that the process is the punishment. Rev. Boissoin had seven years of his life wasted – seven years in which he bore the stigma of being called, by the state, an illegal "hater". And Rev. Boissoin had to bear the enormous legal costs – first, of his kangaroo court trial, then of his appeal – on his own. (I'm glad to have participated in three fundraising dinners for him this summer.) By contrast, his antagonist didn't have to spend a dime to drag Rev. Boissoin through the mud of the HRC [Human Rights Commission]. And note page 37 of the ruling: though Rev. Boissoin's conviction was demolished by the judge, page after page; though Rev. Boissoin was clearly mistreated and abused by the HRC; though the judge's contempt for the HRC's outrageous behaviour is palpable, Rev. Boissoin was denied his request for all his costs to be paid.
Remnant News Watch readers may recall an experiment undertaken by Mr. Levant last year. He re-published Mr. Boissoin’s original letter to the Reed Deer Advocate, but attributed it to himself. Of course, the inevitable “human rights violation” was lodged against him. However, the complaint against Mr. Levant was DISMISSED on the grounds that he published the article in question “with the goal of furthering a public debate on freedom of expression.” Mr. Levant wrote:
I published the exact same words Rev. Boissoin used. I published the words in the exact same jurisdiction that Rev. Boissoin did – in Alberta. I published them in contravention of the exact same laws that Rev. Boissoin did – the Stalinist human rights acts. And a complaint was brought against me, just as it was against Rev. Boissoin. Only one thing was different. Rev. Boissoin is Christian. I'm Jewish.
Today, the anti-Christian Hate Industry juggernaut is well in place. It has settled in nicely and need only await victim after victim, while ignoring what it chooses to ignore.
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