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Stephen Boissoin ruling reversed

Timothy Kincaid

December 4th, 2009

boissoinThere is a short list of grievances used by every anti-gay activist who seeks to recast their own hostilities as being in defense of religious freedoms. For example, here is the litany from the Manhattan Declaration:

After the judicial imposition of “same-sex marriage” in Massachusetts, for example, Catholic Charities chose with great reluctance to end its century-long work of helping to place orphaned children in good homes rather than comply with a legal mandate that it place children in same-sex households in violation of Catholic moral teaching. In New Jersey, after the establishment of a quasi-marital “civil unions” scheme, a Methodist institution was stripped of its tax exempt status when it declined, as a matter of religious conscience, to permit a facility it owned and operated to be used for ceremonies blessing homosexual unions. In Canada and some European nations, Christian clergy have been prosecuted for preaching Biblical norms against the practice of homosexuality. New hate-crime laws in America raise the specter of the same practice here.

We have already debunked the bogus claims about Catholic Charities, the public pavilion in New Jersey, and Ake Green’s imaginary jail time (the “European nations” reference).

And now, the last claim goes down in flames. Here’s how the Canadian prosecution story goes, from the perspective of those who oppose decent treatment towards gay people (WND)

Canada already has aggressive “hate crimes” laws, and authorities have gone so far as to tell a Christian pastor he must recant his faith because of legislation that bans statements that can be “perceived” as condemning another person.

“Canadian youth pastor Stephen Boissoin wrote a letter to the editor in 2002 criticizing homosexual activism and offering compassion and hope for people trapped by homosexuality. A human rights tribunal took notice and slapped him with a $5,000 fine, ordered him to apologize in writing, and snuffed out his free speech rights by placing a prior restraint on his public expression of any ‘disparaging’ opinions about homosexuality,” Coral Ridge leaders said.

The facts are as follows:

In 2002, Stephen Boissoin, the executive director of Concerned Christian Coalition, wrote a letter which was published in the Red Deer Advocate (the text of the letter is provided after the break). This letter described gay people as “perverse, self-centered and morally deprived individuals” who “are just as immoral as the pedophiles, drug dealers and pimps that plague our communities.” He “declared war” on gay people and called for Canadians to “stand together and take whatever steps are necessary” to “start taking back what the enemy has taken from you.”

Within the next few weeks, a teenager in Red Deer was beaten for being gay, allegedly by a regular visitor to a drop-in center operated by Boissoin.

An Associate Professor at the University of Calgary, Darren Lund, tied the two events together and sued Boissoin under the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Boissoin and his sympathizers then adopted a campaign of personal destruction against Dr. Lund.

On November 30, 2007, the Commission found the following:

In balancing the freedom afforded under the Charter and the degree of protection afforded through the provincial legislation, the Panel considered s. 2(b) of the Charter regarding the fundamental freedoms of conscience and religion, the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including the freedom of the press and other media, the freedom of peaceful assembly and the freedom of association. The broad protection granted to religious freedom did not override the protection afforded under human rights legislation against hatred and contempt. Further, the publication’s exposure of homosexuals to hatred and contempt overrode the freedom of speech afforded in the Charter.

The Commission determined that Boissoin and the Concerned Christian Coalition 1) were prohibited from making disparaging remarks about gays, Dr. Lund, and his witnesses, 2) were restrained from committing the same or similar contraventions of the Act, 3) had to issue a written apology, 4) must request the Red Deer Advocate publish the apology letter, 5) and pay up to $7,000 in damages.

To readers in the United States, this decision would seem like a violation of the constitutional protections of free speech. So much has been made of this “threat”, especially in relation to the battle over the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act.

Now it turns out that it may be a violation of Canada’s constitution as well. (Calgary Herald)

Controversial remarks made about gays by a former youth pastor are “jarring, offensive, bewildering, puerile, nonsensical and insulting,” but not hateful or extreme, a judge has ruled.

Thursday’s judgment by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Earl Wilson overturned a December 2007 ruling by a human rights panel, chaired by Lethbridge lawyer Lori Andreachuk.

Wilson ruled Andreachuk made many errors in her ruling and that her order for Boissoin to pay Lund $5,000 and to refrain from making “disparaging remarks” about gays was illegal and unenforceable.

I am pleased that Boissoin is allowed to vent a spew his venom. I believe that free speech – even vile, hateful speech – ultimately leads to greater tolerance and freedom. And I know that limitations on freedom can infringe on the rights of everyone.

Having said that, I know that anti-gays will continue to portray gay people as trying to censor conservatives. And I do not assume that the decision in favor of Boissoin will in any way dissuade anti-gay activist from continuing to “warn” about “prosecution in Canada”. Honesty has never been an attribute that anti-gay activists have much valued.

Homosexual Agenda Wicked

June 17, 2002

The following is not intended for those who are suffering from an unwanted sexual identity crisis. For you, I have understanding, care, compassion and tolerance. I sympathize with you and offer you my love and fellowship. I prayerfully beseech you to seek help, and I assure you that your present enslavement to homosexuality can be remedied. Many outspoken, former homosexuals are free today.

Instead, this is aimed precisely at every individual that in any way supports the homosexual machine that has been mercilessly gaining ground in our society since the 1960s. I cannot pity you any longer and remain inactive. You have caused far too much damage.

My banner has now been raised and war has been declared so as to defend the precious sanctity of our innocent children and youth, that you so eagerly toil, day and night, to consume. With me stand the greatest weapons that you have encountered to date – God and the “Moral Majority.” Know this, we will defeat you, then heal the damage that you have caused. Modern society has become dispassionate to the cause of righteousness. Many people are so apathetic and desensitized today that they cannot even accurately define the term “morality.”

The masses have dug in and continue to excuse their failure to stand against horrendous atrocities such as the aggressive propagation of homo- and bisexuality. Inexcusable justifications such as, “I’m just not sure where the truth lies,” or “If they don’t affect me then I don’t care what they do,” abound from the lips of the quantifiable majority.

Face the facts, it is affecting you. Like it or not, every professing heterosexual is have their future aggressively chopped at the roots.

Edmund Burke’s observation that, “All that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” has been confirmed time and time again. From kindergarten class on, our children, your grandchildren are being strategically targeted, psychologically abused and brainwashed by homosexual and pro-homosexual educators.

Our children are being victimized by repugnant and premeditated strategies, aimed at desensitizing and eventually recruiting our young into their camps. Think about it, children as young as five and six years of age are being subjected to psychologically and physiologically damaging pro-homosexual literature and guidance in the public school system; all under the fraudulent guise of equal rights.

Your children are being warped into believing that same-sex families are acceptable; that men kissing men is appropriate.

Your teenagers are being instructed on how to perform so-called safe same gender oral and anal sex and at the same time being told that it is normal, natural and even productive. Will your child be the next victim that tests homosexuality positive?

Come on people, wake up! It’s time to stand together and take whatever steps are necessary to reverse the wickedness that our lethargy has authorized to spawn. Where homosexuality flourishes, all manner of wickedness abounds.

Regardless of what you hear, the militant homosexual agenda isn’t rooted in protecting homosexuals from “gay bashing.” The agenda is clearly about homosexual activists that include, teachers, politicians, lawyers, Supreme Court judges, and God forbid, even so-called ministers, who are all determined to gain complete equality in our nation and even worse, our world.

Don’t allow yourself to be deceived any longer. These activists are not morally upright citizens, concerned about the best interests of our society. They are perverse, self-centered and morally deprived individuals who are spreading their psychological disease into every area of our lives. Homosexual rights activists and those that defend them, are just as immoral as the pedophiles, drug dealers and pimps that plague our communities.

The homosexual agenda is not gaining ground because it is morally backed. It is gaining ground simply because you, Mr. and Mrs. Heterosexual, do nothing to stop it. It is only a matter of time before some of these morally bankrupt individuals such as those involved with NAMBLA, the North American Man/Boy Lovers Association, will achieve their goal to have sexual relations with children and assert that it is a matter of free choice and claim that we are intolerant bigots not to accept it.

If you are reading this and think that this is alarmist, then I simply ask you this: how bad do things have to become before you will get involved? It’s time to start taking back what the enemy has taken from you. The safety and future of our children is at stake.

Rev Stephen Boissoin

Comments

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Alex
December 4th, 2009 | LINK

That’s hate speech if I ever saw it.

Paul in Canada
December 4th, 2009 | LINK

I was expecting the last line to read: “Please give generously…”.

Under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I would think this is a good test case for the Supreme Court under the Hate Crimes legislation given it paints a broad swath across a recognized protected group.

Alas, I scratch my head and wonder how these “christians” sleep at night knowing that some day, they’ll have to account for their dishonesty, bigotry, hatred and down-right unChrist-like behaviours!

Alex
December 4th, 2009 | LINK

Paul,

I think they sleep very soundly.

Burr
December 4th, 2009 | LINK

I didn’t see any direct calls for violence in that letter, so they did a good job of reversing the decision.

It annoys me that they turned that into a talking point by overreacting to start with. Canada you mean well, but at least from the perspective of a free speech advocate and a believer in the marketplace of ideas, you aren’t doing us favors.

Quo
December 4th, 2009 | LINK

Paul in Canada,

Have you read the Gospels? Hatred isn’t “unChrist-like behavior” at all. Christ is full of hatred. He expresses hatred for numerous different kinds of people, and frequently engages in the most aggressive and extreme rhetoric.

Priya Lynn
December 4th, 2009 | LINK

LOL, I’m actually going to agree with Quo!

However I will point out that Jesus never spoke against gay people so Quo’s S.O.L when it comes to suggesting that Jesus was anti-gay.

Priya Lynn
December 4th, 2009 | LINK

Burr said “I didn’t see any direct calls for violence in that letter, so they did a good job of reversing the decision.”.

I strongly disagree. Boissoin declared war on gays and characterized them as the worst kind of child abusers. He invited violence against gays and the beating of a gay teenager by a Boisssoin follower demonstrates that. This should have never been overturned, it was the right decision the first time around.

Burr
December 4th, 2009 | LINK

This whole conflict is described by even the mainstream media as a “culture war.” Is that fueling hate speech? War is this sense is ideological, and yes while he was dancing right on the line and probably didn’t care if it inspired a violent act it doesn’t cross the threshold that would be applied here. Canada obviously has a different tradition and is coming from a different angle on it, so I guess I’ll defer to their judgment, but it’s not territory I’m willing to tread on blithely.

Quo
December 4th, 2009 | LINK

Priya,

Your sentiments, which do not surprise me, are those of a totalitarian. It is disgusting to see someone who has benefited from the existence of a free society support views that would lead to its destruction.

Priya Lynn
December 4th, 2009 | LINK

Yes, of course quo, not tolerating calls to violence will lead to society’s destruction…riiiight. Just look how in Nazi germany the demonization and calls for violence against Jews helped that remain a productive, just, and vibrant society to this day.

Priya Lynn
December 4th, 2009 | LINK

And of course its highly ironic that someone who says there should be no gayness in society is calling me a totalitarian.

paul j stein
December 4th, 2009 | LINK

Praise the lord and pass the torches we have some burning to do tonight, let’s git to ridin’ men! Oh wait it’s 2009 right…right…anyone there?

DevlinBach
December 4th, 2009 | LINK

Boission’s letter did not declare war out of hate, it declared war out of an authentic fear children would be adversely effected. I don’t think that is a cooked up lie, at all, in his or in a large group of people’s minds. They are truly in a cultural shock wave, just as we are.

He constructed a well thought out letter with justifiable concerns from his perspective. He is not making hate based “genocidal” death threats i.e. “I’m going to kill you disgusting fagots” which is required with Canadian hate speech law for conviction. I am a gay guy that wants all hate speech or renderings thereof prosecuted, but I am puzzled in this case, as to how he ever got convicted in the first place.

I believe the overturn is justified.

Regan DuCasse
December 5th, 2009 | LINK

What Boisson engaged in was libel and slander of the gay community.
This is not protected speech. It shouldn’t come to the point of outright calling for gay people to be murdered and violated.
There doesn’t have to be a fire for someone to yell fire in a crowded place to cause a panic.

Boisson committed the equivalent of yelling fire by calling gay people pedophiles and equating them with dangerous criminals.
When that happens, he’s putting gay people at risk of physical violence.
Just as someone is at risk of physical danger in a situation causing unnecessary panic.
These are actionable by the authorities and Boisson at the very least deserves to be put on notice when his speech becomes a LIABILITY.

Violence against another citizen can cost a lot. It costs in lost productivity, hospitalization or burial. Lost support to dependents, legal and penitentiary costs.
If the Canadians want to give warning to those who create unnecessary hostility, panic and threat by warning those who commit such offenses, bully for them.
Boisson’s mouth IS a liability and it’s his responsibility to know where the line is.
The Canadian courts have given him time to get a clue.
A gay people should be able to feel and be as secure in their own country as any other citizen.
Canadians do things differently. But they have less hate crimes too.

werdna
December 5th, 2009 | LINK

To me the original letter just reads like the ranting of a crazy person. Irksome sure,but hardly the kind of thing we should feel threatened by or need to prosecute. I think the court made the correct decision here.

Now, will this decision stop the anti-gays from using this as an example of how LGBTs want to oppress xtians? Not likely…

Burr
December 5th, 2009 | LINK

It’s not libel or slander when it’s directed at an amorphous group of people. Libel or slander is a crime against a named individual.

BCCanuck
December 5th, 2009 | LINK

Priya Lynn wrote:

“Yes, of course quo, not tolerating calls to violence will lead to society’s destruction…riiiight.”

Nail, hammer and head!

Paul in Canada wrote:

“I would think this is a good test case for the Supreme Court under the Hate Crimes legislation.”

I think so too. Let’s see what happens.

Regan DuCasse, your comments are spot-on: thank you for stating them so eloquently.

tavdy79
December 5th, 2009 | LINK

It’s time to stand together and take whatever steps are necessary to reverse the wickedness that our lethargy has authorized to spawn.

(emphasis mine)

Does that sound like incitement to violence to anyone?

Regan DuCasse
December 5th, 2009 | LINK

Burr, your point is well taken. I might point for example to the campaign to oust Kevin Jennings of GLSEN.
He wasn’t the target of Boisson specifically.

But Kevin Jennings IS a specific person that IS being slandered and libeled and the way information about him is twisted and obfuscated and so on, that IS an example of what you say.

However, Boisson IS engaging in speech that can be construed as causing direct or indirect hostility, panic and unnecessary paranoia.
Still unprotected, however amorphous to an unnamed individual, it’s still specifically naming a GROUP.

Bene D
December 6th, 2009 | LINK

Boission’s group was challenging C-38.

Hence the letter.
Pat Robertson’s law group got in on this when it went before the AHRC. Religious right groups in the US have made a lot of money saying Boission was facing jail, was jailed etc.

Canada’s group Egale stood up for Boissoin’s right to be a bigot.

Steven Boissoin is not a Reverend and now works in the housing industry. He’s probably still a bigot.

Rose
December 6th, 2009 | LINK

Why don’t people actually get the facts on this case. Read the legal brief submitted by Stephen Boissoin and the judges decision:

http://www.law.ualberta.ca/centres/ccs/uploads/Bo

http://stephenboissoin.com/downloads/scan013_2009

Find out who Steve was and is. You will not find single bad word written about him by any one who actually knew him then or knows him now. And he was a well known youth worker at the time. He had given everything he had to helping troubled kids, including many gay kids. No one who knows him would accuse him of hurting a fly.

This case was based on the allegation that a gay teenager had been assulted because of the letter. There is no evidence this ever happened. No police report was ever filed. The alleged victim was never identified to the commission or the court. Someone??? took a teenager to the Red Deer Advocate to complain about the letter. Darren Lund, an anti-Christian activist, was a high school teacher in Red Deer at the time, who wanted to bring a United Church minister into the school to teach the kids that the Bible was wrong about homosexuality. Steve had every right to respond. He saw the evidence every day of the harm that promiscuity and lack of moral context regarding every kind of sexuality was having on kids. He had every moral and Charter right to respond to government policy in the public schools.

Steve’s letter may have been strongly worded and have offended some people, but Darren Lund could have responded by writing a letter himself, but instead, he went home crying and got Big Brother to come take the other kids lunch money. Probably in the range of $200,000 in expenses for Steve. And a ridiculous order from the “Human Rights” Tribunal that Steve pay $5000 to Lund, a non-victim for his whining and suffering and apologize to Lund publically for his deeply held religious beliefs. Even serial killers can not be ordered to do this (maybe in North Korea they can). Thankfully Judge Wilson did every thing but laugh out loud at this.

Darren Lund is a Hate Pimp. For this, many liberal organizations have richly rewarded him, including giving him an associate professorship at U of C.

Stephen Boissoin has been put through more than 7 years of hell for voicing very controversial opinions. Even if you hate Stephen’s words, how many of us have not done exactly that, even in writing. Read the letter now that it can actually be published freely. Every one of us should be grateful to Steve for not just giving in to this thug and PAYING HIM OFF like many who have been hauled before these evil Inquisitions have done, just to make it go away.

As for threats of violence against Lund; maybe someone in the media should ask what kind of threats Stephen got, like HIV loaded syringes. He just doesn’t whine about it and portray himself as a victim the way Lund does.

By the way, Stephen never compared people in consensual relationships to pedophiles. He was talking about radical activists in the public schools and NAMBLA.

Priya Lynn
December 6th, 2009 | LINK

Well said Regan.

Burr said “It’s not libel or slander when it’s directed at an amorphous group of people. Libel or slander is a crime against a named individual.”.

I’ve encountered a few people who think it’s somehow okay, or less of a crime to libel/slander or call for violence against a group of people than it is to do the same against an individual. I don’t buy that at all, just look at how the sort of hate speech of people like Boissoin against gays mirrors the hate speech of the Nazi’s against the jews in Germany.

Rose said “Darren Lund is a Hate Pimp.”.

I can’t think of a better example of how profoundly backwards your position is. Boissoin demonized gay people, called for violence against them while Lund stood against this and you want to call Lund, and not Boissoin the hate pimp! You’re deeply messed up Rose.

As Tavdy pointed out. Boissoin’s admonition “It’s time to stand together and take whatever steps are necessary to reverse the wickedness that our lethargy has authorized to spawn.” is the most thinly veiled call to violence one could possibly make. Rose, that you would defend a hate pimp lie Boissoin exposes the black black heart inside of you.

Priya Lynn
December 6th, 2009 | LINK

Rose said “By the way, Stephen never compared people in consensual relationships to pedophiles. He was talking about radical activists in the public schools and NAMBLA.”.

Not true Rose. He started his letter by saying he wasn’t talking to anyone with unwanted same sex attractions. He then said he was specifically “this is aimed precisely at every individual that in any way supports the homosexual machine that has been mercilessly gaining ground in our society since the 1960s.”. In other words he aimed his letter at anyone who accepts their gayness and supports equal rights for gays. He was most definitely comparing those in concensual gay relationships to pedophiles, drug dealers, and pimps and claiming those people are a dire threat to abuse children.

There is nothing radical about pursuing equal rights for gays in society and by Boissoin’s definition anyone who does not try to deny their gayness is an activist. Boisssoin attacked and called for violence against every self accepting gay and loving gay couple in society. Boissoin is a blight upon society and its a travesty that he isn’t being punished accordingly.

Timothy Kincaid
December 6th, 2009 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

Don’t try logic with trolls. In their world, a cross burning on a lawn is a kind gift of warmth on a cold winters’ night.

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