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Defamation lawsuit by anti-SOGI Chilliwack school trustee dismissed

Chilliwack School Board trustee has apologized for comments he made on social media about Dr. Teresa Tam.
Chilliwack School Board trustee has apologized for comments he made on social media about Dr. Teresa Tam.

A court has dismissed a Chilliwack school trustee’s defamation lawsuit against the former president of the BC Teachers’ Federation

Barry Neufeld filed a defamation suit against Glen Hansman last year, after Hansman accused him of making bigoted comments about SOGI 123, a B.C. Ministry of Education resource that provides guidance and support for LGBTQ2 students.

READ MORE: Education minister calls on controversial Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld to resign

Hansman’s criticism came after Neufeld wrote a Facebook post that said allowing children to choose their gender identity amounts to “child abuse.”

“At the risk of being labelled a bigoted homophobe, I have to say that I support traditional family values and I agree with the [American College of Pediatricians] that allowing little children choose to change gender is nothing short of child abuse,” he wrote.
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WATCH: (Aired Oct. 24, 2017) Backlash after school trustee criticizes LGBTQ program

Click to play video 'Backlash after school trustee criticizes LGBTQ program' Backlash after school trustee criticizes LGBTQ program
Backlash after school trustee criticizes LGBTQ program – Oct 24, 2017

A BC Supreme Court judge ruled that while “the defendant concedes that some of his words could be capable of defamatory meaning,” they are defensible as “fair comment.”

“The public has an interest in protecting expressions that relate to public debate,” the judge ruled.