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By Lavender September 25, 2008

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BigGayNews.com Update

Regarding “Commission: Catholic Magazine Not Hateful,” [“BigGayNews.com,” Lavender, July 18]:

The outrageous decision of the Canadian Human Rights Commission to dismiss the complaint of hate messages against Catholic Insight has been appealed to the Federal Court of Canada. It has also recently been disclosed that the Government of Canada’s Heritage Department had investigated Catholic Insight for hate material, and did conclude that that magazine was exposing gays and lesbians to hatred or contempt. Heritage Canada threatened to withdraw their Publications Assistance Program funding if Catholic Insight did not tone down their antigay rhetoric, and Heritage Canada has put Catholic Insight on their watch list.

The federal court will be asked to decide if the complaint ought to have been dismissed, or if it should be referred to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for a full, fair, and public hearing. The court will also be asked to determine whether the commission acted fairly and justly in the way that they handled this complaint. The commission refused to allow the complainant to see or to respond to Catholic Insight’s defense; failed to allow the complainant to fully argue his complaint; and took into consideration prejudicial and irrelevant facts in making its decision, including the fact the government was subsidizing this magazine, and any finding of discrimination would be an embarrassment to the government.

The court case will no doubt raise some very interesting issues and facts about how the Harper government is trying to squelch human rights in Canada. In the meantime, Canada’s GLBT community still has to live with this type of vicious and virulent hate propaganda spread under the guise of “Christian” teaching.

Rob Wells

Letters are subject to editing for grammar, punctuation, space, and libel. They should be no more than 300 words. Letters must include name, address, and phone number. Unsigned letters will not be published. Priority will be given to letters that refer to material previously published in Lavender Magazine. Submit letters to Lavender Magazine, Letters to the Editor, 3715 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407; or e-mail [email protected]

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