Supreme Court will not re-open anti-gay pamphlet case
OTTAWA – A Saskatchewan anti-gay crusader has lost a bid to have the Supreme Court of Canada re-hear a case in which he was found to have violated human rights rules by distributing pamphlets denouncing homosexuals.
The court has rejected William Whatcott’s application to re-open the matter, without giving any reasons for the decision.
In February, the court ruled 6-0 that two of the four flyers Whatcott distributed in 2000 and 2001 violated Saskatchewan’s Human Rights Code.
Those flyers referred to gay men as sodomites and pedophiles.
But the court struck down some language in the provincial code, clearing Whatcott of any wrongdoing in connection with two other flyers.
The leaflets prompted complaints to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, which found against him.
The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal overturned that ruling, leading to the Supreme Court.
The high court found that portions of the Saskatchewan rights charter went too far.
The justices said language in the code that defines hate literature as something that “ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of any person” is not a reasonable limit on freedom of expression and is unconstitutional.
“Those words are constitutionally invalid,” the decision said.
© 2013 The Canadian Press