Rev. Tristan Emmanuel presented embattled British Columbia teacher Chris Kempling with a cheque for $9,500 at the second annual Ignite Our Culture Conference in Burlington, Ont. Nov. 12. Kempling, a teacher with the Quesnel district school board, has been battling both his employer and his teachers’ union after both of them disciplined him over comments he made outside of the classroom about homosexuality.
This included writing letters to the editor of his local newspaper, speaking at a Christian conference during the summer holidays and attending a House of Commons committee hearing to discuss homosexual “marriage.” Kempling has launched a human rights complaint against his employer and is appealing a B.C. court’s decision to uphold a B.C. College of Teachers 2004 suspension of him.
Emmanuel, executive director of the the Equipping Christians for the Public Square Centre, the organization that hosted the conference, said, “The ECP Centre is committed to standing with him every step of the way.” The cheque presentation was the second time the ECP has provided financial assistance to Kempling. In June, it held a fundraiser for him and presented him with a cheque for $18,000.
Emmanuel described why Kempling’s case should be important to Christians across Canada: “Extremists in British Columbia’s education system have suppressed Kempling’s freedom of speech. However, secular radicals will not have the last word.”
The day before the conference, the ECP Centre held a town hall meeting that was open to the public and is expected to be broadcast on Vision TV in the new year.
Kempling, Scott Brockie and Larry Spencer described how they were persecuted for their views on homosexuality. Brockie fought a nine-year battle after he refused to print promotional material for the Gay and Lesbian Archives. He was brought before the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Spencer was suspended from the Canadian Alliance party caucus and later expelled from the Conservative party after the Vancouver Sun published a report that inaccurately claimed he wanted to criminalize sodomy.