I’ve known Bill Whatcott, a fiery, dedicated, courageous, traditional morality activistfor over 20 years. He is making headlines all over Canada in our usually hostile press, and is now facing his judgement day shortly as the members of the Supreme Court of Canada as to whether his right to freedom of expression is dead or not.
Bill Whatcott publicly protests homosexuality and abortion with big signs “homosexuality is a sin,” and other posters equating abortion with Hitler’s holocaust. I have picketed with Bill on a number of occasions when he was living in Toronto at Morgentaler’s, Scott’s and Buriani’s abortion mills and also attended his going-away party when he moved out west. I’ve never known him to advocate violence. Bill has always been a bit of lone wolf, and his abrasive manner didn’t endear him to many pro-life activists in the Toronto area.
Some equally dedicated, long time pro-life workers are hostile to Whatcott’s hard-hitting, in your face tactics, which they feel crosses the line between being just and being civil, but that didn’t stop Whatcott from fighting the spread of gay propaganda and acceptance of the homosexual agenda in the streets and in the courts of Canada.
A woman who was picketing with Whatcott in front of an abortion facility in Toronto when he was carrying a large sign in colour of a picture of an aborted baby, said: “Mr. Whatcott, I must compliment you on your strong stand against abortion but I think the picture you’re holding is simply gruesome and disgusting.” Whatcott replied: “I agree with you.”
There seems to be a broad consensus shaping up in Canada that the law shouldn’t limit Canadians’ right to free speech no matter how offensive some people may find it as long as the speakers don’t advocate violence. Much of the trouble stems from pseudo-judicial provincial human rights industry with exaggerated egos who tramp around where wise men fear to go. I expect to read about charges being laid against baseball fans who yell: “Kill the umpire.” (have you seen any dead umpires around lately?).
The Toronto Star’s excellent, balanced editorial discussing so-called hate law (“Free speech must prevail,” Oct. 14) said Canada’s Criminal Code that calls people (like Bill Whatcott) guilty of “wilfully promoting hatred” as “harsh.” Interestingly, the Supreme Court ruled in 1990 that it does offend our Charter rights but ruled by a narrow 4-3 margin that it was a justifiable infringement. The Star still laments the ruling calling it an obnoxious blow to free speech just to still the tongues of a few “bigots.”
I also spoke on the phone to Tom Schuck, a Saskatchewan lawyer and Catholic Civil Rights League member, and a father of six children, who has represented Whatcott pro-bono. In a recent article in the Catholic Register, Schuck said that a large gay Saskatchewan newspaper ran ads about men seeking boys. Schuck told the court that Whatcott copied these ads for two of his pamphlets to signal his desire to protect children from preditors, something the police and the rights commission should be concerned about as well. Instead of protecting children they target the whistleblower. Schuck felt that Whatcott deserves a commendation.
Bill Whatcott, dismissed as an anti-gay crusader, has been in repeated legal trouble over the years, and was arrested six times in Saskatchewan, once in the United States and 20 times in Ontario (twice for violating the bubble zones around two Toronto abortion mills). He was also jailed for six months for violating an injunction. He was also a frequent contributor to the conservative website Free Dominion from which he was eventually banned for disruptive behaviour. To keep the anti-gay and the pro-life cause before the public Whatcott has run repeatedly and unsuccessfully for political office.
Bill Whatcott – this unlikely knight in shining armour – recently defended his right to free speech that carried a fine of $17,500 levelled by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission for distributing flyers that critics say are hate speech. This appeal is to be decided before the Supreme Court of Canada. Whatcott might just be the instrument to finally get justice for pro-lifers and a host of other hunted people as well – lawyers, teachers, priests, Protestant ministers and writers.
The verdict could be announced anytime. Please start praying out there.