Nathaniel, the Mark Steyn case is getting the bulk of the conservative media attention (since he writes for National Review), but don’t overlook this other Canadian Human Rights Case. Tony Perkins, in his FRC e-mail update, writes:
David Ben Gurion, the first Israeli Prime Minister, once said, “The test of democracy is freedom of criticism.” Nowhere have politicians more miserably failed that test than in Alberta, Canada, where the gatekeepers of political correctness—the Human Rights Commission (HRC)—have sentenced a pastor to a lifetime of silence. The case was initiated in 2002, when Rev. Stephen Boissoin published letters to the editor opposing same-sex “marriage” in the Red Deer Advocate. At the time, Canada was embroiled in a debate over whether to legalize counterfeit marriage across the country. When Professor Darren Lund of Calgary read Boissoin’s editorials, he filed a complaint with the Alberta HRC, alleging that the content of the articles was “hateful.” The Commission appointed a tribunal to investigate Boissoin, led by an unelected bureaucrat Lori Andreachuk. Last November, Andreachuk found Boissoin guilty of discrimination and, without the benefit of his testimony, forbade him from uttering “anything disparaging about homosexuals.” Notice that Andreachuk does not ban him from speaking about anything “illegal” but bars him from any negativity toward gays and lesbians. The official punishment, issued without so much as a public hearing, includes everything from personal emails to congregational sermons. As if the lifetime speech ban were not tyrannical enough, Andreachuk also ordered Boissoin to compensate Professor Lund, who was not a victim of the so-called “hate crime,” $5,000. Under the terms of his sentencing, the Reverend must “cease publishing…remarks about homosexuals” and submit a written apology to Lund for publication in the Red Deer Advocate. Ezra Levant, who is under similar scrutiny for printing cartoons about Mohammed, notes in a new column, “[Boissoin] has to publicly humiliate himself, by publicly declaring his contrition—a contrition he does not feel—and his abandonment of his deeply-held religious beliefs… Does that happen anywhere outside of Communist China?” Conservatives across Canada are in an uproar over the ruling and many are demanding that Premier Ed Stelmach follow through with his promise to review the unbridled “censorship powers” of the HRC. If he refuses, Alberta’s thought police can indict any pastor or average citizen who holds political or moral views contrary to the powers-that-be.