REGINA, Sask. Dec. 14, 2007 – The appeal by William Whatcott to the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench from his conviction and fine of $17,500.00 by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal was denied by the Judgment of Mr. Justice F. Kovatch in a decision received on December 11, 2007.
Mr. Whatcott expressed great disappointment and indicated that it was his intention to appeal the decision to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.
“The decision makes it difficult for parents to stop homosexual propaganda from being taught in the public school system or at universities”, Mr. Whatcott said, noting that he intends to continue to fight for the right to speak out against homosexual behaviour.
The tribunal ruling followed a hearing in 2005 which stated Mr. Whatcott showed “a clear pattern of practice of disregard for protected rights” when he distributed flyers in Regina and Saskatoon in 2001 and 2002 railing against homosexuality being taught in the Saskatoon Public School system and at the University of Saskatchewan. In the opinion of the human rights tribunal the flyers promoted hatred against homosexuals by referring to them as pedophiles and child molesters.
During the Queen’s Bench appeal Mr. Whatcott’s lawyer, Thomas Schuck, argued his client was following his religious morals when he distributed the flyers. Mr. Schuck added the tribunal decision puts “a chill on free speech” if people have to constantly worry that what they say may put them at odds with the commission. He added that “the decision is a sign that freedom of speech is slipping away from Canadians.”
Mr. Whatcott was charged with spreading hate against homosexual persons for the distribution of material objecting to an advertisement that ran in Saskatchewan’s largest gay paper, Perceptions, seeking boys for activities that specifically mentioned that their “age….not so relevant”. The material distributed by Mr. Whatcott also objected to gay material promoting the gay culture and beliefs entering into the Saskatoon Public School System and the University of Saskatchewan.
Thomas Schuck indicated that the appeal raised the constitutionality of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code in the event that it is now illegal to criticize the sexual behaviour of some homosexuals. As a result, the Attorney General of Saskatchewan intervened in support of the tribunal and filed a brief supporting the tribunal, as well.
© Catholic Civil Rights League, 2007