Below are some extracts from a longer article in the magazine Catholic Insight,about how the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which is basically a kangaroo court, is being used to persecute Catholics in Canada.
The latest news on the HRC controversy
By Pete Vere
Issue: February 2008
Catholic Insight, a Canadian magazine known for its fidelity to Church teachings, has been targeted by the Canadian Human Rights Commission for publishing articles deemed offensive to ɧoɱosɛҳųαƖs.
The commission has been investigating the Toronto-based publication since ɧoɱosɛҳųαƖ activist Rob Wells, a member of the gαy, Lesbian and Transgendered Pride Center of Edmonton, filed a nine-point complaint last February with the government agency in which he accuses the magazine of promoting "extreme hatred and contempt" against ɧoɱosɛҳųαƖs.
Canada's human rights commissions are empowered by Canadian law to investigate allegations of offensive speech. There are 10 commissions in the country -- the national commission, known as the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and a provincial commission for each of Canada's 10 provinces, except British Columbia.
The process favours the complainant over the accused, claims Father de Valk and other Christian critics of the commissions and tribunals. There is no cost to the one who files a complaint, and the commission provides legal support to the complainant. In contrast, the accused must pay his legal costs.
Additionally, contrary to the English legal tradition, there is a reverse onus requiring the accused to prove his or her innocence. "There's a presumption of guilt," said Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary, who himself was subject to two complaints before the Alberta Human Rights Commission in 2005 after publishing a pastoral letter defending the traditional definition of marriage earlier that same year.
Bishop Henry lays part of the blame with an activist judiciary that has read "sɛҳuąƖ orientation" into the section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that protects against discrimination. "And further, they're reading in 'sɛҳuąƖ practices,'" said the bishop.
Christian groups have a losing record before Canada's human rights tribunals for alleged discrimination. In November 2005, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ordered a Knights of Columbus council to pay two lesbians $1,000 each in damages, plus legal costs, after the council declined to rent their hall to the couple for a same-sex marriage ceremony.
In 2000, the Ontario Human Rights Commission fined Scott Brockie, a Protestant print-shop owner, $5,000 for declining to print, on moral grounds, ɧoɱosɛҳųαƖ-themed stationary.
The same tribunal fined London, Ontario, $10,000, plus interest, in 1997 when Mayor Diane Haskett declined to proclaim a gαy pride day for the city.
In the end, Bishop Henry feels that Canada's human rights tribunals are censoring the expression of traditional Christian teaching: "The social climate right now is that we're into a new form of censorship and thought control, and the commissions are being used as thought police.