Or freedom of religion or freedom of the press either, for that matter. To wit: Stephen Boissoin, a pastor, wrote a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate, criticizing the “wicked” homosexual agenda. The letter was published. A professor at the University of Calgary filed a complaint with the Alberta “Human Rights” Commission.
The Red Deer Advocate folded before the case was heard, agreeing to institute a new letter policy stating (pdf link, paragraph 6):
The Advocate will not publish statements that indicate unlawful discrimination or intent to discriminate against a person or class of persons, or are likely to expose people to hatred or contempt because of …sexual orientation.
But the Red Deer Advocate was just a sideshow. The real case was against Rev. Boissoin. The commission’s Lori Andreachuk ruled that (paragraph 357):
Having considered the Charter [of Rights] and the balancing of the freedoms set out in the Charter, I have interpreted the [Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism] 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 s. 3. to protection against hatred and contempt. I also take the view that s.3(2) required a balancing of these freedoms afforded to individuals under the Charter, with the prohibitions in s. 3(1) of the Act. 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.
Having earlier found that the needs of censorship trump freedom of speech and religion, on May 30 she issued her remedy, ordering (pdf link, paragraph 14):
That Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. shall 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 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.
That The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. and Mr. Boissoin shall, in future, be restrained from committing the same or similar contraventions of the Act.
Wow. This pastor is forever barred from any disparaging statements against homosexuals or against Lund (the professor who filed the complaint), in any medium including public speeches. In America we call that “prior restraint.” He also is required to write an apology and pay damages.
There’s more, notes Ezra Klein, but this is enough, isn’t it? (Via the Corner.)