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Truro mayor won’t be charged with inciting hate against gays

After a two-month investigation, police have decided that the mayor of Truro, Nova Scotia will not be charged with inciting hatred against gays.

"In this incident there is not enough evidence to support a charge
under the Criminal Code of Canada,” Det Const Shari Barna told the Chronicle Herald.

Thank goodness for that. Sure, Truro mayor Bill Mills is an anti-gay bigot. But he should never have been probed for “inciting hatred.”

Mills’ latest blunder began in December 2009, when Truro council introduced a motion to restrict access to Victoria Park. If approved, Truro will build a gate at the park entrance to limit vehicle access after dark.

Mills told the Truro Daily News that the park was a “favourite pick-up spot for guys from all over the Maritime provinces. They go up and have a rendezvous and then they go into the woods
and do their thing. It’s been known for years and years and is becoming
more and more of a problem.”

Truro mayor Bill Mills

Mills’ comments provoked resident Darryl Moir to launch a formal complaint with the Truro Police Service on Dec 14. He said that Mills was inciting hatred against gays by singling them out. The park has been a popular hookup spot for generations for both straights and gays, said Moir.

But should Mills have been probed by police for his bigoted views? No.

During a January council meeting, Mills could not even comment on the park closure policy because of the police investigation. “I’m under investigation for hate crimes, so therefore it would be inappropriate at this time to offer comment,” he said.

And it’s exactly this kind of knee-jerk censorship that anti-gay bigots love to use against us queers. Noapologies.ca, a social conservative news site, rightly pointed out that the investigation against Mills was a threat to his freedom of speech. 

A better solution? Let Mills speak his mind. Everytime he opens his mouth, his ignorant comments make national headlines in the mainstream press. When the next municipal
election rolls around in 2012, give Mills the boot. 

This is not the first time Mills has gone head-to-head with the gay community. In 2007, Charles Thompson, a local
gay man involved with the area’s Pride activities, tried to get Truro
to fly a rainbow flag at town hall. Mills was a vocal opponent of the
idea. He said that to fly the flag would conflict with his personal
religious beliefs. 

As for the Victoria Park closure policy, Truro council is set to vote on the issue next month, reports the Chronicle Herald. The vote was originally set for January but was postponed.

Truro’s police chief says there have been only 45 complaints about Victoria Park in the past four years: one for “indecent acts,” two for public nudity and a handful of reports about “suspicious persons in vehicles."

All this fuss about a handful of complaints? Surely Truro council has bigger priorities. 

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