Marilyn Manson and the Hate Crimes Act.
In the fall of 1995 then Justice Minister Allan Rock successfully forced through the addition of "sexual orientation" to the existing categories of hate crimes under the federal Hate Crimes Act. Anyone who so much as looks askance at a "gay" or lesbian person is liable to be charged. The CBC no longer allows opponents of the "gay" lifestyle to speak on its "public" network. It's now forbidden to oppose sodomy!
But it's all different with religion. One Marilyn Manson, an American rock singer of evil repute, a Church of Satan minister, wearing Nazi clothing, screaming obscenities within a gospel of hate against Christianity, found the doors of Canadian public facilities opened for him wherever his agents (Universal Concerts) wanted his performances booked.
Only in Calgary (because of businessman Larry Ryckman of the Max Bell Centre) did protests lead to a cancellation. Not so elsewhere. In Edmonton the self-appointed "anti-Christ Superstar" was defended by those in charge of the Convention Centre; in Winnipeg by a similar team; in Ottawa by David Hamilton and Jean Pigott of the Ottawa Congress Centre; and in Toronto by the University of Toronto, particularly athletics director Bruce Kidd. Kidd, a frequent spokesman for gays and lesbians on campus, described the performance as part of an "intellectual debate." Some debate! Manson also appeared in Vancouver and Hamilton.
In Ottawa the Canada Family Action Coalition launched an eleventh- hour court action against Manson and the Congress Centre. But Mr. Justice Colin McKinnon of the Ontario Court (General Division) hurriedly decided that while the music and lyrics might be "disgusting and revolting", they did not break any laws whether of obscenity or hate literature (Ottawa Citizen, Aug. 1, '97).
So what do we have a Hate Crimes Act for? Obviously not to protect the Christian religion. And that knowledge alone is worthwhile. It may well prove to have been the first blow against this obnoxious legislation.
It also shows once again that protests by individuals or groups such as Family Action and the Catholic Civil Rights League are necessary and useful even though the blaspheming continues for now. Those attending Manson's "concerts" were mostly teenagers.
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|Date:||Oct 1, 1997|
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