OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with Hate mail
Gays in the military isn’t exactly a new thing for Canada, but you might not know it from the experiences of Andrew McLean, a Warrant Officer working at Kandahar Airfield.
McLean tried his best to keep his orientation secret from colleagues, but that had to change after he received an anonymous, threatening letter back in September. Speaking to the media in an interview, McLean recalled the experience: “It said ‘You’re gay. Because of this, minus two.’ That’s metric [for] six feet; 6½ under.”
Mortified that he had been discovered, McLean brought the letter to the attention of his superiors after struggling internally for two days.
This story caught my attention mostly because of timing. Canada lifted its ban on gays serving openly in the forces in 1992, a full 20 years ago. The military, though, much like the world of sports, doesn’t make being openly gay easily, although there aren’t any obstacles on paper. That’s why it’s actually encouraging to hear of soldiers speaking out against this kind of harassment.
McLean now says he serves openly, and is actually less afraid for doing so. I’m not only happy for him, but also thrilled that he shared this experience. This not only got higher-ups to publicly affirm their commitment to welcoming gay soldiers, but also to add some much needed visibility in the macho world of national defense. And all it took was some ignorant and cowardly hate mail.
Bill Whatcott, Canada’s most hysterical anti-gay activist, has headed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
I’ve talked a lot about Whatcott in the past, but here’s a quick recap: He was fined in 2005 for violating Saskatchewan hate laws by repeatedly distributing fliers calling gay people child molestors, dismissing all gay people as “sodomites,” and describing their relationships as “filth.” He also routinely included graphic images of sexually transmitted disease symptoms (such as anal warts and various other unpleasantries), attributing their existence largely to gay people.
While the hate ruling was upheld by the Queen’s Bench in 2007, it was overruled in 2010 by an appeals court ruling. And now the case has headed to Canada’s highest court.
I don’t know what the Supreme Court will rule in this case; it’s a complicated issue, which is why it has been getting a lot of media attention. I’ve previously talked at length at about what the purpose of Canada’s hate laws are for (the gist is that I do think they can serve a useful purpose), but here’s some extra food for thought on this case I think might be worth pondering. (I’m not saying I’m right on all counts, or even consistent, but it’s an interesting case so here we go!)
- If I distributed fliers falsely asserting a local CEO is a child molester, I’d probably be sued for libel without any controversy. I guess distributing fliers claiming an entire group of people are child molesters is different, then?
- Being offended isn’t the same as being a victim; being wrongly accused of destroying society in public, on the other hand…
- Shouldn’t repeatedly delivering unwanted, hateful messages count as harassment? If not, then watch out, Mr. Chef Boyardee. (Boy, are ye going to get an earful.)
- There are some really effective ways to respond to Bill’s nonsense without relying on Canada’s hate laws. (My favourite was a fundraising effort where a small donation would be made to GLBT organisations for every one of Bill’s fliers that was collected.)
- You know, I don’t think many of us will have ever heard of Mr. Whatcott in the first place if he weren’t continuously put into courts and human rights tribunals where he can set himself up as a martyr.
- I wish that all the people who disagree with what Bill has to say, but will defend to the death his right to say it, would spend at least a little effort doing the disagreement part.
- It’s possible to express incorrect and generally idiotic thoughts about homosexuality without actually harassing and inciting hatred against gay people. In fact, I seem to recall posting a story where someone did this… Let’s see, to find it, click on Archive, followed by any freakin’ link in the entire history of this site.
- Perhaps giving people a reason to pause and think about how they want to say something isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
- Having the right to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.
- Why do the most vocal proponents of Whatcott’s right to distribute wrong information about gay people tend to be the same people that think scientifically-backed information about gay people distributed in schools is an infringement of their rights?
- Why is Bill so obsessed about gay people in the first place? I mean, even I give Chef Boyardee a break now and then.
Anyway, I’m not going to follow this story anymore, so if you want to know what happens look elsewhere.
Ottawa City Councillors are annoyed to have been flooded with angry, homophobic hate emails this month. The messages—which originated from one man, but were sent from multiple email accounts to presumably bypass the councillor’s email filters—railed hysterically against Alex Munter and the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa, which he heads.
City Councillor Rick Chiarelli, who forwarded the hate messages to the police, said that members of the Council were “appalled” with the “threatening and disgusting” e-attacks, calling the content “narrow-minded and unsubstantiated.”
The Youth Services Bureau also commented on the emails, saying: “We have a long history of supporting LGBT youth; it goes right back to the 1980s and we are very proud of our role in fighting homophobia and supporting LGBT youth with our services.”
Good on ’em!
- Munter target of anti-gay e-mails [Ottawa Citizen]
- Anti-gay emails flood Ottawa city councillors’ inboxes [Xtra]
Most disagreements that arrive in my inbox are encouragingly civil; the few that aren’t normally simmer down after some friendly communication. Every now and then, though, I take the time to respond to concerns from a particularly nasty message only to discover that the email address is fake—posted anonymously from the guestbook or some other online source. These are their stories.
Jonny from Calgary, writes:
As you boundless hatred for Calgary (and I suppose those of us who are out and proud and making this city more fabulous than you ever could) is so evident I’m shocked at your complete lack of awareness or reflection on your own adopted city. In particular, your post about Calgary being Canada’s “hate crime capital” was full of your typical ignorance. Calgary actually KEEPS hate crime stats (other cities do not- Saskatoon for example reported zero hate crimes to statcan because Saskabush police don’t bother keeping stats) AND Calgary counts every instance of vandalism (by far the most common “hate crime” here) as a separate crime- so when two yahoos (from Quebec, naturally, the source of most of this country’s racists) painted swastikas all over garage doors in Hillhurst, EVERY ONE counted separately as a hate crime. That was a dozen hate crimes! Toronto doesn’t do this, and Montreal- well guess what city has the highest rate of hate crimes based on victim surveys (not based on police practice?) MONTREAL, my misinformed girlfriend! Montreal, home of the synagogue bomber AND the people who attack hijab-wearing women, not t mention the murderers of “feminists” en masse. Do you even bother to ask why Calgary has, now, more (more by far) visible minorities AND immigrants per capita than does Montreal? It’s because you live in the black heart of racism and hate in general in Canada. But then that’s probably what attracted you there in the first place.
You’re a decent illustrator but regardless I am going to make damn sure that you never get more work from Calgary magazines. Asshole.
Ouch! OK, I surrender! Calgary is friendly; just, please, stop pummeling me!
In fairness, I like to poke fun at Alberta (my home province), and especially Calgary, for its inordinate number of anti-gay lobbyists, but I don’t hate it. I rib because I love. Calgary is where I got my master’s degree and, more importantly, where I met my fiancé.
I do believe there is a connection between hysteria over gay people and hate crimes, so the Statistics Canada report about Calgary having the highest per-capita hate crime rate was a good opportunity to write about how anti-gay rhetoric (which frequents the Alberta media) has unintended consequences.
Hitler Youth (Somehow I don’t think that’s his or her real name) writes:
I love what you are doing with your website. If we can continue to indoctrinate the youth of this world to reject critical analysis of any and all ideas that conflict with the LGBT agenda, then someday soon we will RULE this world because nobody will have any idea how to argue against ANY of our ideology. The Fuhrer did it once successfully and so with consistent effor we will be successful too. Long live the revolution.
Oh, you! You’re a hoot.
Well, have a great weekend, folks! And, while I’m on the subject, thanks to everyone who has written in with encouragement, kind words, and even civil disagreements. Be sure to check out my full-page illustration in today’s Swerve Magazine on the upcoming Alberta Rockies Gay Rodeo!
Let’s do the mailbag thing today! A (somewhat confused) reader writes:
I accidentally came across your website and am so incredibly offended and upset by it. How could you create such a thing? Do you believe being gay is a choice? The only reason you are so angry about it is because you are harboring homosexual feelings inside of yourself. Otherwise, you may be a godless person, I am not sure. Either way, live and let live. If you do not know any gay people, get to know one and ask them if they would choose such a horrible existance [sic]. Would you choose to be descriminated [sic] against or hated upon? Who would? The AIDS comments are disgusting. Ignorant. You know nothing about the disease. What about the people in Africa with AIDS who were bitten by a mosquito? You are ridiculously blinded to the reality of health situations in the world. Get a life and educate yourself. What is your education level? Probably not very high.
Corey [Last name removed]
I’m sorry; I’ve been a terrible, homophobic blogger. I have, indeed, been harboring homosexual feelings inside of myself, and I suspect my boyfriend has too. To make up for all of my angry, angry writings, I’ve painstakingly converted this site into a gay-friendly publication. I hope it meets your standards.
As for the AIDS comments, I’m not entirely sure what I’ve said about the subject, but I’m sorry for it. And, although HIV cannot be transmitted by mosquitoes, I’ve forgotten that people in Africa probably find the bites as annoying as we do here. Hereon in, I’ll do my best to warn them.
With heartfelt apologies,
Well, that’s all for today! If you’d like to submit something to the Slap Mailbag, fire off an email to:
The city of Ottawa is investigating two of its senior employees after a vulgar joke was emailed to staff members. The email, titled “Gentlemen, it’s time for your annual ‘Am I Gay’ self-examination,” contained a series of quick tests to determine one’s own sexual orientation. This included such gems as: “If you have a cat, you are a Flaaaaming homo,” “if you know more than six names of colors […] you might as well be handing out free passes to your ass,” and, for those that like lollipops, “you are in training to suck El Dicko and undeniably a fag.”
City Councillor Maria McRae called the emails hurtful and a blatant abuse of the city’s e-mail system. I call it a lame attempt at comedy. I mean, cats? Colours? Lollipops? There wasn’t even one Kylie reference! As a gay man, I’m insulted.
Remember Bill Whatcott? His hysterical anti-gay stance has won him repeated human rights violations and a job suspension, but that doesn’t seem to stop him from distributing hate literature. Now a local activist group might have him re-thinking his strategy.
Amber Fletcher from the Campus Feminist Action Network in Regina, Saskatchewan wrote in to announce a delightfully clever pledge drive:
We would like to collect pledges for each leaflet Whatcott distributes from now on, and donate that money to local GLBT groups.
If he continues, the GLBT centres will benefit, and we will have succeeded.
Outstanding! If you’d like to make a pledge and help out some worthy organisations, check out the CFAC website for upcoming details.
Bill Whatcott, the anti-gay activist who had his nurse’s license suspended, has been ordered to pay $17,000 for repeated human rights violations. The kicker? He’s refusing to pay.
In an open letter hand-delivered to 3500 households, Whatcott explained his rationale for the civil disobedience, painting himself as a saviour of children—who he says are in immediate danger of being molested by homosexuals. Observe his ever-so-moving penmanship:
It is a fact that a greater percentage of homosexuals molest children than their heterosexual counterparts. Sodomites only consist of between 2 – 3% of the population. Yet they commit of over 33% of the reported sex offences.
Charming. I feel the sympathy already. Gee, Bill, I can’t imagine how you were found guilty of hate crimes…
Incidentally, the paper that Whatcott cited for the above “fact” was written by one Dr. Timothy Dailey (Ph.D in religion) and published by the anti-gay lobby group “Family Research Council.” It has been thoroughly disproved and runs contrary to every single peer-reviewed study on the subject. Even the suppliers of the statistics that Dr. Tim cited to arrive at his conclusion have decried the work as deceptive manipulation. One, Dr. Nicholas Groth, even demanded that any reference to his work be removed from the offending paper; an extraordinarily rare move in the academic community.
Whatcott knows all this, but hey—can you blame him? I mean, his only other choice is to do something crazy like, I dunno, be big enough to admit that his actions were libelous and wrong and accept the consequences.
Have fun avoiding the law, Billy!
- Message of hate not welcome [Leader-Post]
- Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children? [Box Turtle Bulletin]
- Regina Family Activist Will Refuse to Pay $17,500 Fine for Homosexual Hurt Feelings [Lifesite]
Over 70 Vancouver postal workers walked off the job yesterday morning after discovering they were to deliver unaddressed homophobic pamphlets. The 28-page pamphlets, published by an Ontario church, tells gay readers that they are “ungodly, unhealthy, and unnatural” and calls AIDS “the consequences of homosexuality.”
Canada Post responded by saying they’re not in the business of censorship and will deliver the pamphlets, but would also not require that their postal workers handle them. Instead, managers will put the offensive brochures into envelopes and deliver them themselves. (Though, I suspect the envelopes are just a matter of convenience, as duct-taping the pamphlets into balls, dipping them into vats of self-curing synthetic compounds, then soldering them shut in elegant steel sarcophagi locked by puzzles requires unaffordable resources.)
Of course, in fairness, I haven’t seen the pamphlets so I can’t verify whether or not they’d qualify as hate mail under Canadian law. It’s my strong belief that—barring the incitement of hatred—every Canadian has the right to speak their mind. But, to the person that crafted the fliers… Dude, seriously, that can’t be your excuse…
Sending lengthy, unsolicited homophobic pamphlets half-way across the country? Talk about misplaced zeal! Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do, bucko!