Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Boissoin Appeals AHRC Ruling To Courts

I see that Stephen Boissoin has appealed to the courts over the finding that his 2002 letter to the Red Deer Advocate was hate speech.

"We say the legislation stepped out of bounds when it brought in legislation that dealt with hate speech," Chipeur told Court of Queen's Bench Justice Earl Wilson on the opening day of a two-day appeal hearing.

"Any limitation on debate in the public, whether by letter to the editor, at a community hall or on television, regarding political views . . . has been restricted to federal government." interesting argument - and completely specious. If the same letter had been written with reference to Mr. Boissoin's faith, it would be hate speech just as much as it is when it is aimed at homosexuals. Further, Chipeur is conveniently ignoring that criminal code amendments that added sexual orientation to our hate propaganda statutes weren't added until quite some time after Boissoin wrote his letter.

CBC picks up on another comment by Chipeur:

"Nobody should have the power to use the tools that are available to the state, to use the police powers of the state, to prosecute someone else who they disagree with," said Chipeur.

Excuse me? What a load of nonsense. Somewhere along the way, Chipeur has lost track of something - namely the fact that rights are not absolutes. There are boundaries and limits to rights - usually at the very least where the exercise of those rights negatively affect somebody else's rights. To put it into the language of the pugilism, your right to swing your fist stops precisely where my nose begins.

Why is it that when homosexuality is involved it's somehow "public debate", when it's somebody's religion, that's somehow magically different? Nobody argues that a letter like Boissoin's written about a specific religious group would be seen as hate literature of some kind - why is it even one iota different when somebody's sexuality is involved?

It should not be. Section 3, and its federal counterpart Section 13 represent reasonable constraints on Freedom of Speech. This has been tested in court multiple times.

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