TORONTO, Ont., January 24, 2007 – The Catholic Civil Rights League today commented on the recent BC Human Rights Tribunal announcement of a settlement directing a city councilor in that province to pay $1,000 to a homosexual couple for comments he made about homosexual conduct.
The couple, John Olynick and Greg Koll, filed a complaint with the Tribunal which was accepted and was to go to the hearing stage. The settlement allows the Kamloops, BC councilor, John DiCicco, to avoid a Human Rights Tribunal hearing. The city will pay his legal fees, according to a report by Kamloops Daily News.
“In essence, in order to avoid further costs of a hearing, Mr. DiCicco has agreed to pay fees for making statements in a public forum that are reflective of the Church’s teaching, which states that homosexual activities are ‘intrinsically disordered’,” said League President Phil Horgan. “This type of process exposes the serious challenges to freedom of expression and freedom of religion that Canadians in all walks of life may face in response to comments based on deeply held religious belief. We can expect to see more challenges of this kind as the impact of same sex “marriage” continues to play out in daily life, in areas such as governments, schools and the workplace.”
There is also a disturbing trend in human rights decisions on related subjects from this commission, such as the BC Knights of Columbus hall rental case from last year, where the Knights were ordered to pay fees for hurt feelings, despite having their rights affirmed. We have also seen complaints against Bishop Fred Henry in Alberta, ultimately withdrawn after great expense. At the federal human rights commission, a Catholic was denied the ability to seek accommodation of her religious beliefs and was obliged to continue to support with her union dues the aggressive lobbying efforts for same sex “marriage” of the federal employees union.
Ironically, Mr. DiCicco himself experienced discrimination last June, when he opposed a homosexual pride proclamation. His barber shop was later vandalized with “Homophobia Die” scrawled on the door of his business. In August, the homosexual pair filed their complaint over remarks he made at a council meeting and repeated in media interviews. In line with Catholic teaching on the matter, it is reported that he
described homosexual acts as “not normal and not natural.” He also stated that he has no problem with gay or lesbian people, only that he should not have to endorse the behaviour. He later apologized, but the apology was not considered part of the settlement.
Catholic Civil Rights League (www.ccrl.ca) assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization and has chapters across Canada. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.
For further information: Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244; firstname.lastname@example.org
Footnote: Teaching on this subject from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1997
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.