The Shotgun Blog
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
What is to come
LifeSiteNews.com reports that Calgary Bishop Fred Henry has had a complaint filed against him with the Alberta Human Rights Commission because he spoke out against same-sex "marriage." From Bishop Henry's response to the Complaint:
"My rights to freedom of religion and free speech have been violated. Those that support same-sex marriage want to shut the churches out of this important debate. Those who favour same-sex marriage have been given full opportunity to state their views on this issue. But now they are saying that anyone who speaks out against same-sex marriage is discriminating against homosexuals."
Few other details that have been made public at this stage but it will be worth watching.
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That "response" sounds like a pretty good basis for a complaint in its own right. An attack on both religious and speech freedoms ...?
Which may not be a bad tactic - simply treat every HR complaint as an HR violation itself. And in this case, it certainly is. The purpose of the complaint in this case is quite clearly to suppress public debate by terrorizing citizens into silence with the threat of legal consequences for holding and expressing unauthorized opinions.
Should be interesting. I suspect the best Bishop Henry can expect is to have the HR Star Chamber simply choose to not deal with the complaint. That sort of things has been done before. But to have them come right out and say that the plaintiffs are wrong and abusing the system, and that this wretched Catholic actually does have the right to participate in the affairs of his society may be too much to hope for.
Still, I'd be happy to be proven wrong.
Posted by: Doug | 2005-03-31 6:35:36 AM
I'm just curious. Since we live in Canada, where we have no right to freedom of speech, in custom or in law, are there any limits placed on the public pronouncements of religious representatives.
For example, in the infamous pastoral letter Bishop Henry states . . .
"Since homosexuality, adultery, prostitution and pornography undermine the foundations of the family, the basis of society, then the State must use its coercive power to proscribe or curtail them in the interests of the common good."
What if he'd called for these classes of people, to be publicly stoned? Or went further and called on his flock to stone them? Or published a letter saying it was the duty of all Catholics to stone Sven Robinson, or Scott Brisson. Would that be protected speech?
Do religious representatives have the right to say absolutely anything at all? About homosexuality, about race, about other religions? Again, I'm not talking about some perfect world, where all speech is protected but in the here and now.
Mont D. Law
Posted by: montdlaw | 2005-03-31 8:05:25 AM
Founder of the animal rights movement, Singer?
The word "rights" has lost all meaning; a valley of dry bones.
Posted by: maz2 | 2005-03-31 11:00:34 AM
And a chill wind swept through the north . . .
The rules of tolerance no longer apply to one side of the debate. Sadly, Canada is an experiment on national hate-speech codes, and it isn't going very well for you.
Posted by: Half Canadian | 2005-03-31 2:52:07 PM
I would like to know what risks the two complainants exposed themselves to. There has to be sort of restriction imposed to discourage lodging frivolous actions with the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Maybe some sort of "good faith" bond.(Pardon the seeming though unintended, pun). I support Bishop Henry completely on this issue would like to see him lodge a counter complaint.
Posted by: BobWood | 2005-03-31 3:15:32 PM
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