Thoughts On The Bill Whatcott Supreme Court Case
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.