A Canadian human rights tribunal ordered a Christian pastor to renounce his faith and never again express moral opposition to homosexuality, according to a new report.
In a decision dated May 30 in the penalty phase of the quasi-judicial proceedings run by the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal, evangelical pastor Stephen Boisson was banned from expressing his biblical perspective of homosexuality and ordered to pay $5,000 for “damages for pain and suffering” as well as apologize to the activist who complained of being hurt.
According to a report from Pete Vere at the Catholic Exchange, the penalty could foreshadow the possible fate of the Rev. Alphonse de Valk, who also cited the biblical perspective on homosexuality in the nation’s debate over same-sex “marriage” and now faces HRC charges.
Boisson wrote a letter to the editor of his local Red Deer, Alberta, newspaper in 2002 denouncing the advance of homosexual activism as “wicked” and stating: “Children as young as five and six years of age are being subjected to psychologically and physiologically damaging pro-homosexual literature and guidance in the public school system; all under the fraudulent guise of equal rights.”
The activist, local teacher Darren Lund, filed a complaint, and the guilty verdict from Lori G. Andreachuk, a lawyer, was handed down Nov. 30, 2007. The latest decision involved the penalty phase of the trial.
“While agreeing that Boisson’s letter was not a criminal act, the government tribunal nevertheless ordered the Christian pastor to [stop expressing his opinion],” Vere reported.
Andreachuk noted that Lund, who brought the complaint, wasn’t, in fact, injured.
“In this case there is no specific individual who can be compensated as there is no direct victim who has come forward,” she wrote.
However, that did not stop her from ordering the payment anyway.
And as for the future, she wrote:
“Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. shall cease publishing in newspapers, by e-mail, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the Internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals. Further, they shall not and are prohibited from making disparaging remarks in the future about … Lund or … Lund’s witnesses relating to their involvement in this complaint. Further, all disparaging remarks versus homosexuals are directed to be removed from current Web sites and publications of Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc.,” the lawyer opined.
Andreachuk also ordered Boissoin to apologize for the original letter in the Red Deer Advocate and told the two “offenders” to pay $5,000.
The apology letter, Vere said, “threatens civil liberties in Canada, according to Ezra Levant, an author and lawyer who himself was targeted by an HRC attack.”
“[The] government now believes that if it can’t convince a Christian pastor that he’s wrong, it will just order him to condemn himself?” Levant wrote on his blog. “Other than tribunals in Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s China, where is this Orwellian ‘order’ considered to be justice?”
“This is like a Third World jail-house confession – where accused criminals are forced to sign false statements of guilt,” Levant wrote. “We don’t even ‘order’ murderers to apologize to their victims’ families. Because we know that a forced apology is meaningless. But not if your point is to degrade Christian pastors.”
“In essence, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal is ordering to the minister to renounce his Christian faith, since his opposition to homosexuality is based upon the Judeo-Christian Bible,” Vere wrote.
WND reported recently about de Valk, the target of a Human Rights Commission case over his biblical references regarding homosexuality.
“Father [de Valk] defended the [Catholic] Church’s teaching on marriage during Canada’s same-sex ‘marriage’ debate, quoting extensively from the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and Pope John Paul II’s encyclicals. Each of these documents contains official Catholic teaching. And like millions of other people throughout the world and the ages – many of whom are non-Catholics and non-Christians — Father believes that marriage is an exclusive union between a man and a woman,” Vere wrote.
Vere raised the question that Canada now considers morality a “hate crime.”
“If one, because of one’s sincerely held moral beliefs, whether it be Jew, Muslim, Christian, Catholic, opposes the idea of same-sex marriage in Canada, is that considered ‘hate’?” he asked.
Vere wrote that the response he got from Mark van Dusen, a spokesman for the federal human rights prosecution office, shocked him.
The government agent confirmed the agency investigates complaints but doesn’t set public policy or moral standards. He said the agency job is to look at the circumstances and decide whether to advance it or dismiss it.
What is shocking about that, Vere wrote, is the admission that unjustified complaints can be dismissed, yet the case against de Valk has continued now for more than six months.
An extended audio recording between Vere and van Dusen is posted on YouTube:
A second part of the interview also is posted.
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