We live in a country where we have the right to free speech, not hate speech, but Saskatchewan’s Bill Whatcott says that defies freedom of religion. The Supreme Court of Canada is going to hear his case today.
Whatcott was found guilty by a lower court of hate speech for distributing anti-gay flyers. That ruling was reversed by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in 2010.
Whatcott is back in court bringing attention to a part of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code that allows people to be charged for hate speech, which he says goes against freedom of religion. He was originally charged for putting pamphlets in mailboxes that spoke against the teaching of same-sex relations in public schools.
There is a big difference between free speech and hate speech, and it’s too easy to hide behind the Charter of Rights and Freedoms while spewing hatred. It’s important that the code recognize the difference.
Did Whatcott deserve to be charged in the first place? In my opinion, no. He’s obviously misled, and even if people find his opinions hateful, he’s still entitled to them. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal was right to drop the charges against him. As for his wasting the time of the Supreme Court of Canada, it just goes to show how unhinged crazy anti-gay flyer man is. Maybe Jesus told him to do it? Hopefully the judge throws out the case, because it’s necessary that we as a nation continue to differentiate between controversial opinions and hateful ones.
Just one more reason to put a “No flyers please” sign on your mailbox!