Finding against anti-gay “activist” Bill Whatcott, the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld hate-speech provisions of the province of Saskatchewan’s Human Rights Code. In a unanimous decision, Canada’s top court found that infringing rights of expression and religion, as contained in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, could be justified as “reasonable limits.”
Whatcott had distributed four anti-gay pamphlets that “used words like ‘filth,’ ‘propaganda’ and ‘sodomy’ to describe gay relationships and the discussion of equality,” as reported by the CBC in this video clip.
While two of Whatcott’s flyers were found to constitute hate speech, two others were not. The court struck down the section of the SK Human Rights Code disallowing speech that “ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of any person or class of persons on the basis of a prohibited ground” as unreasonable. Justin Marshall Rothstein wrote, “These flyers are potentially offensive but lawful contributions to the public debate on the morality of homosexuality.” Um, okay.
Whatcott has refused to pay the $7,500 in damages ordered by the court and has vowed to continue his anti-gay campaign in the name of Christianity, even as sensible Christians shake their heads and mutter that this nutter is completely missing the point.