Saskatchewan judge says CBC defamed anti-gay activist Bill Whatcott in 2011
WEYBURN, Sask. – A Saskatchewan judge has ordered the CBC to pay damages to an anti-gay activist who filed a defamation lawsuit over a news story.
In 2011 the CBC aired a national report on Bill Whatcott as he took his appeal of a Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The news report included video shots of a flyer Whatcott distributed in Alberta that had the lyrics of a parody song titled “Kill the homosexuals.”
In his ruling, Justice Richard Elson of Court of Queen’s Bench says the second page of the flyer had a paragraph explaining that Whatcott didn’t actually want to kill homosexuals – he wanted them to “repent of their sins and turn to Jesus Christ.”
Whatcott argued the CBC defamed him when they showed the lyrics of the parody song, but did not show the statement on the next page, thereby making his views seem more extreme.
The CBC had argued it provided no comment on the flyer and that taken in the context of the whole broadcast the video shots wouldn’t cause viewers to believe that Whatcott advocated killing homosexuals.
© 2015 The Canadian Press