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William Whatcott: disturber of the peace.

Regina, SK -- William Whatcott, a former juvenile delinquent, then an Evangelical pro-life activist and today a Catholic prolifer living in Red Deer, AB, has been a pro-life gadfly in Saskatchewan for over a decade. He beat a rap for displaying abortion pictures in rush-hour traffic, but had his nursing licence suspended for picketing Planned Parenthood. Recently he annoyed Regina's 'gay' community by protesting against a film festival at the Regina Public Library, which showed movies of lesbians engaged in sexual activity with underage girls. When Saskatchewan's leading homosexual magazine published an advertisement for a man seeking a relationship with a boy, Whatcott distributed flyers with the photocopied ad in Regina and Saskatoon. He merely wanted to show, he said, what Saskatchewan's largest homosexual magazine was up to.

Four recipients of the ad complained to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, with three of them being awarded $5,000 each and the fourth $2,500 to assuage their hurt feelings. As the Commission's lawyer explained, "Sexual orientation is a protected category under the code and you are not allowed to say anything that will cause other people to feel hatred or ridicule or belittlement toward members of those protected categories." Apparently films that degrade children do not fall under the same category.

The truth apparently hurts in Saskatchewan. Whatcott's case is under appeal, but he may be stuck with payments of $17,500 to the four people whose feelings were hurt so badly. The court may back the Human Rights Commission: in 2003, the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's bench upheld an SHRC ruling that biblical verses critical of homosexuality could be considered "hate speech." In November 2006, Whatcott vowed that he would go to jail before he would pay reparations. It remains to be seen whether he will be given justice, or denied it.

The Western Standard entitled its coverage of Saskatchewan's handling of the Whatcott case as "Compassionate Stalinism" (Dec. 18, 2006).
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Title Annotation:Canada
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Feb 1, 2007
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