RCMP responds to complaint

about guest speaker’s belief
that homosexual acts are sinful

An Ottawa pro-life youth group with chapters at the two Ottawa universities has been under intense harassment for their efforts to set up a debate on abortion. Carleton University Womyn’s [sic] Centre objected to the debate after learning that the pro-life side would be represented by famed pro-life apologist Scott Klusendorf, of the United States organization Stand to Reason.

The Womyn’s Centre found that Klusendorf’s website has links to Christian organizations that discuss homosexuality. Like all reliable Christian responses to homosexuality, the sites condemn the behaviour while advocating love for those with such inclinations. Nevertheless, the Womyn’s Centre complained to the university administration and the Ottawa police.

An officer from the hate crimes unit called Ottawa Youth for Life (OYFL) representatives to come to the police station for questioning. The police also called Klusendorf’s home in California and spoke to his wife. On his way to Ottawa for the debate, Klusendorf was held up at the border for over an hour of interrogation.

Carleton University’s student government organization called in the pro-life group, threatening to revoke their official club status based on the false charge of homophobia. However, when the pro-life group showed up with legal counsel, the Womyn’s Centre’s plans were thwarted.

On March 1 Klusendorf made a presentation at Ottawa University and then held a debate at Carleton. At Ottawa University OYFL had received permission and paid for space in a commons area of the university to present a video, have Klusendorf speak, and then open up the floor for questions. The event attracted a large crowd but when the video depicting the results of abortion was to be shown, Rosanne Lepine from the university’s Women’s Resource Centre pulled the plug and refused to release it.

Some spectators began shouting obscenities at Klusendorf and the OYFL leaders present. Eventually university administration and security personnel and the Ottawa police arrived. It was decided that the presentation would be moved to a small closed room where the video would be permitted.

Partly as a result of the commotion approximately 60 students jammed the room to see the four-minute video and hear Klusendorf’s talk. The question-and-answer period was brimming with students seeking information and asking to sign up with OYFL.

Klusendorf then went to Carleton University where he was to debate Cherie MacDonald of the Ontario Coalition of Abortion Clinics. When he arrived, MacDonald announced she was backing out, but later she changed her mind. The debate went ahead before 250 students, and was a no-contest win for Klusendorf. Once again a number of students signed up with OYFL.