Sask. Human Rights Commission Seeks Supreme Court Case against Catholic Activist
By Patrick B. Craine, REGINA, Saskatchewan, April 1, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has announced their intention to take their case against Bill Whatcott, a Christian fighting the encroachment of homosexualism, to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Whatcott told LifeSiteNews (LSN) Thursday that the SHRC has informed his lawyer, Tom Schuck, of their intention to appeal the February 25th decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeals.
Whatcott suggested that, while he does not want to take the case “for granted,” the SHRC’s appeal is a poor strategic move in light of the current negative feelings over Canada’s human rights commissions. “Strategically, though I don’t want to discourage them from doing it, … it’s a sign of desperation and poor judgment,” he told LSN. “Politically and legally, … human rights commissions and their powers to censor opinion are not really politically all that popular right now.”
“If I was them what I would have done was just keep my mouth shut and wait about 10 years and try to build the momentum to censor people like myself when there wasn’t so much scrutiny on these bodies,” he added.
The SHRC brought Whatcott before the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal in 2006 over his practice of distributing flyers about the dangers of abortion and homosexuality. They launched their case following several complaints over a series of flyers that he had delivered in Saskatoon and Regina in 2001 and 2002.
The flyer at issue was penned in objection to a classified ad in a homosexual newspaper that sought “boys/men for pen pals, friendship, exchanging video, pics.” It also criticized the promotion of homosexuality in Saskatoon public schools and the University of Saskatchewan.
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.
The Tribunal decision was upheld in 2007 by the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, but it was overturned February 25th by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.
Justice Darla Hunter ruled that Whatcott had not violated the human rights code, and that the Tribunal decision unjustly limited the freedom of expression. “It is acceptable, in a democracy, for individuals to comment on the morality of another’s behaviour,” she wrote. “Anything that limits debate on the morality of behaviour is an intrusion on the right to freedom of expression.”
In his interview Thursday with LSN, Whatcott insisted that he is not letting the case prevent him from speaking out, noting that he has a mission to Quebec planned for June to preach the Gospel in light of the Quebec government’s recently-announced effort to normalize homosexuality.
“I’m not going away regardless of what the outcome of this case is,” he said.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Sask. Court Overturns Human Rights Ruling against Anti-Homosexuality Activist
Catholic Activist “Banned for life” From Publicly Criticising Homosexuality