Skip to comments.'Bible as hate speech' bill nearing vote
Posted on 09/17/2003 1:39:57 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
As some U.S. Supreme Court justices look abroad for guidance on cases related to homosexuality, Canada is set to vote on a bill opponents say would criminalize public expression against homosexual behavior.
Introduced by self-described "gay" House of Commons member Svend Robinson, the bill would add sexual orientation as a protected category in Canada's genocide and hate-crimes legislation.
As WorldNetDaily reported, opponents fear if the bill becomes law, the Bible will be deemed "hate literature" under the criminal code in certain instances, as evidenced by the case of a Saskatchewan man fined by a provincial human-rights tribunal for taking out a newspaper ad with Scripture references to verses about homosexuality.
The Parliament is scheduled to debate the bill tomorrow and likely will call a vote within the next few days. The legislation has the support of every provincial and territorial attorney-general in Canada.
The debate comes amid a battle over a government bill that would establish same-sex marriage. Yesterday, Parliament narrowly defeated a nonbinding motion reaffirming the heterosexual-only definition of marriage. The close margin in the Liberal Party-dominated House of Commons, 137-132, raised questions about whether the government bill would pass, especially if an election is called before it is brought to a vote.
Alan Sears, president of the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, a nonprofit legal group, says Americans should pay close attention to their northern neighbors.
"Why does what is going on in Canada matter?" he asked in an interview with WorldNetDaily. "Some of our own justices have already have told us they will be looking closely at how the 'wider civilization' handles these cases."
Sears notes Justice Stephen G. Breyer said in a recent interview with ABC News that the world is growing together through "commerce and through globalization" and we will find out in coming years how our Constitution "fits into the governing documents of other nations. "
In a speech last month, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the U.S. Supreme Court is looking beyond America's borders for guidance in handling cases on issues like homosexual rights and the death penalty.
"Our island or lone-ranger mentality is beginning to change," Ginsburg said during a speech Aug. 2 to the American Constitution Society, a liberal lawyers group.
Justices "are becoming more open to comparative and international law perspectives," said Ginsburg, who cited an international treaty in her June vote to uphold the use of race in college admissions.
"While you are the American Constitution Society, your perspective on constitutional law should encompass the world," she told the group of judges, lawyers and students. "We are the losers if we do not both share our experiences with and learn from others."
In the landmark case that overturned Texas's ban on sodomy, Lawrence v. Texas, Justice Anthony Kennedy argued against the previous precedent regarding sodomy, Bowers v. Hardwick, noting the "case's reasoning and holding have been rejected by the European Court of Human Rights, and that other nations have taken action consistent with an affirmation of the protected right of homosexual adults to engage in intimate, consensual conduct."
Sears said the court's arguments in its "fabrication" of a "constitutional right to engage in sodomy" were so questionable that the court felt "compelled to appeal to European courts to justify the desired conclusion."
In his dissent of the Lawrence case, Justice Antonin Scalia with two colleagues said the court should not "impose foreign moods, fads or fashions on Americans."
Scalia wrote, "Constitutional entitlements do not spring into existence because some states choose to lessen or eliminate criminal sanctions on certain behavior. Much less do they spring into existence, as the court seems to believe, because foreign nations decriminalize conduct."
Backers of Robinson's bill, C-250, argue statements against homosexual behavior for religious reasons are exempted in the current law. But opponents point out the law addressed by Robinson's amendment spells out three different types of actions or speech considered criminal, and only one can be excused by a religious defense. And even that one, opponents maintain, has not always held up in court, because its vagueness leaves wide discretion to judges.
The opponents argue the provincial human-rights commissions, which already include sexual orientation as a protected category, have penalized people for actions motivated by their conscientious objection to homosexual behavior.
As WorldNetDaily reported, a Saskatchewan man was fined for submitting a newspaper ad with citations of four Bible verses that address homosexuality.
Ad placed by Christian corrections officer in Saskatoon, Canada, newspaper
Under the provincial Human Rights Code, Hugh Owens of Regina, Saskatchewan, was found guilty along with the newspaper, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, of inciting hatred and was forced to pay damages to each of the three homosexual men who filed the complaint.
The rights code allows for expression of honestly held beliefs, but the commission ruled the code can place "reasonable restriction" on Owens's religious expression, because the ad exposed the complainants "to hatred, ridicule, and their dignity was affronted on the basis of their sexual orientation."
If Robinson's bill passes, Owens and others would be considered criminals, subject to a jail sentence of up to two years in some cases and five years in others.
Two years ago, the Ontario Human Rights Commission penalized printer Scott Brockie for refusing to print letterhead for a homosexual advocacy group. Brockie argued that his Christian beliefs compelled him to reject the group's request.
In British Columbia, a teacher was suspended for making "derogatory and demeaning" statements against homosexuals, according to the judgment of a teachers association panel. Though none of the statements in question were made in class, the panel cited letters to a newspaper that indicated veteran teacher Chris Kempling's attitude could "poison" the class environment.
One Kempling letter cited by the panel said: "Gay people are seriously at risk, not because of heterosexual attitudes but because of their sexual behaviour, and I challenge the gay community to show some real evidence that they are trying to protect their own community members by making attempts to promote monogamous, long-lasting relationships to combat sexual addictions."
The teachers panel said it does not need to find direct evidence of a poisoned school environment to determine that a member is guilty of conduct unbecoming.
The panel said, "It is sufficient that an inference can be drawn as to the reasonable and probable consequences of the discriminatory comments of a teacher."
In another case, a Christian couple in Prince Edward Island chose to close down their bed and breakfast rather than be forced to condone homosexual acts under their own roof, according to the National Post.
Along with the human rights tribunals, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council rules have been used to censure programs addressing homosexuality. In 1997, the council ruled that the airing of a James Dobson "Focus on the Family" program, called "Homosexuality: Fact and Fiction," violated the requirement that opinion, comment, and editorializing be presented in a way that is "full, fair, and proper."
The Vancouver teacher Kempling wrote a letter to the National Post last month, expressing his amazement that the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association would choose to side with the teachers against him, noting "not a single gay or lesbian person registered any complaint about what I wrote, either to my employer or the B.C. Human Rights Commission."
"Now I know how Galileo must have felt," he said. "When civil liberties groups act like Orwell's thought police, true democracy is in serious trouble."
As goofy as it sounds, there is some truth to your post. As I see it, many Christians in this country don't appreciate the importance of their basic God given rights to worship in the way that they choose. The more that right is threatened, I believe, the more that right will become appreciated. Watching these types of situations in Canada may motivate more to action here.
Christianity in this country is in pretty poor shape as we no longer defend our doctrines in the schools where we send our children. We don't defend the bible as our churches promote abortion homosexuality and even such things as female pastors. We really need some persecution to seperate the real Christians from those that are not and are confusing those who are.
C'mon, 'Wonk. We've progressed beyond those stuffy, old values. We're enlightened now.
Yes, it is possible to love the sinner and hate the sin.
Don't believe me.... have you ever had one of your kids do something wrong?
Can the legal system in Canada migrate to the United States?
"The question is or at least ought to be, how can such a small, godless, minority have such influence over our courts and legislative processes?"
Pronunciation: 'ä-l&-"gär-kE, 'O-
Inflected Form(s): plural -chies
1 : government by the few
2 : a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes; also : a group exercising such control
3 : an organization under oligarchic control
Thanks for this great post!
If you are fortunate enough to emigrate, choose a state other than California to emigrate to. What you have just described about Canada pretty much matches the vision Arnold Schwarzenegger has for California.
Settle in a (relatively) free state, and help keep it free.
Social liberal Canada today is simply Schwarzenegger's social liberal California fast-forwarded five years.
Wyoming would be a great place to emigrate to if you can find employment. The area around Jackson is beautiful. Idaho is still a great place to live, too.
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