REGINA, SK, Feb. 27, 2010 – The appeal of Bill Whatcott from a $17,500 fine imposed by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission(HRC) for objecting to content about homosexuality being taught to children in Saskatoon Public schools has resulted in a victory for Whatcott. The decision reversed the fine of the HRC as well as a lower court of Queen’s Bench decision upholding the fine. The fine by the HRC included a fine for the distribution of two other pamphlets. One objected to the homosexual culture Mr. Whatcott believed was being taught at the University of Saskatchewan, and the second was a reproduction of a portion of a classified advertisement from a homosexual newspaper that included ads of men seeking “boys”.
The decision is especially important for Christians, as it establishes the precedent that one can criticize the morality of homosexual behavior without extreme caution and fear of prosecution by Human Rights Commissions. The earlier decision has enabled HRCs to move more aggressively in the prosecution of other Christian people, including Bishop Fred Henry, Catholic bishop in Calgary, and Rev. Stephen Boissoin, an Evangelical minister in Red Deer. Both have since been investigated and in the case of Boissoin, fined for similar comments.
The Whatcott case, however, is the only decision that has gone the distance, from a hearing before the Tribunal, to the Court of Queens Bench, to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal before winning.
This is the second time Whatcott has been in the Court of Appeal in the past two years. Earlier last year, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the Court of Appeal by the Saskatchewan Licensed Practical Nurses Association who attempted to fine and discipline Whatcott for demonstrating against Planned Parenthood.
In addition, Whatcott has won three other appeals to the Court of Queen’s Bench for convictions resulting from his Show the Truth campaign and public demonstrations, and won several other cases. Indeed, he has never been convicted of an offence that was not reversed on appeal with his lawyer, says his lawyer, Tom Schuck, of Weyburn, Sk.
The following is a list of the cases that Whatcott has ultimately won since 2002 with one decision pending:
1. Charged with littering for leafleting University of Regina
Convicted on trial. Reversed on Appeal to Queen’s Bench (QB).
2. Charged in Moose Jaw with creating a disturbance and resisting arrest while picketing. (As with all his picketing, he showed pictures of aborted fetuses.) Convicted. Reversed on Appeal to Queen’s Bench (QB).
3. Sued by Planned Parenthood for picketing and for an injunction. QB refused to stop all picketing by Whatcott. Case not proceeding.
4. Charged by Regina City Police with stunting. Charges ultimately dropped.
5. Prince Albert Police Charges
a) 2002 Charged with Obscenity for showing pictures of aborted fetuses and jailed. Charges dropped after a not guilty plea was entered.
b) 2003 Charged with stunting and resisting arrest and jailed for picketing.
Convicted. Reversed on Appeal to QB (two lawyers in Prince Albert took this appeal, Philip Fourier and Dan Heffernan).
c) 2003 Charged with mischief for leafleting homes and jailed.
Charges dropped after plea entered.
d) 2003 Arrested and jailed (ostensibly for an unpaid Regina parking ticket) while picketing.
e) Officers of Prince Albert Police department were sued for malicious prosecution and trial held September, 2007, and action dismissed.
6. Successfully sued and settled legal action against University of Regina for libeling Whatcott on their web page.
7. Saskatchewan Licensed Practical Nurses Assoc. fined and suspended Whatcott for picketing Planned Parenthood (PP). Suspension upheld by QB. 2008 Reversed by Court of Appeal. Leave to appeal to Supreme Court of Canada was denied.
8. Charged by Human Rights Commission for spreading hate.
Convicted and fined $17,500. Conviction upheld on appeal to QB.
2008 Appealed to Court of Appeal, decision pending.
9. A successful Intervention and appeal was also made to the Court of Appeal on the Hugh Owens case by Schuck for the Christian Alliance that assisted Whatcott as it dealt with a Human Rights Tribunal fine on the same issue. (The Catholic Civil Rights League was part of this joint intervention.)
It is believed that it is unprecedented for one person to face so many charges and to win them all.
Mr. Whatcott and Mr. Schuck were elated with this current decision. Mr. Schuck has been acting on behalf of Mr. Whatcott pro bono over a period of eight years.
For further information contact:
William Whatcott at (780)-885-7866, or
Tom Schuck at (306)-891-9192 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Press release from Tom Schuck and William Whatcott
Press release from Canadian Constitution Foundation, which intervened in this case.
Saskatchewan Court of Appeal’s decision.