A few years ago comedian Guy Earle commented on the sexual orientation of a pair of lesbian hecklers a few years ago. They complained to the British Columbia Human Rights Commission. His BCHR Tribunal hearing in Vancouver takes place today. Some background on the case is available in this 2008 Kathy Shaidle piece for Pajamas Media. As the Vancouver Province reports today: “If found guilty, Earle could be fined and/or banned from performing in B.C.” That says a lot about the state of freedom of speech in Canada today. As Mark Steyn says:

The only issue is this: Canada is now a land where the state regulates comedy acts.

The trial on March 29th will be a disgrace. You don’t apologize, you don’t donate, you put the system on trial.

That’s really the only insight you need: It’s about them, not you.

Earle’s thoughts on the persecution are available at his website in which he describes how the process is the punishment:

Three years of my life have been jumping through HRC hoops and hiding in the shadows that accompanies a man found guilty until proven innocent. The HRC has crushed my spirit to perform and offer no faith in the current state of affairs in our country. This self-appointed, quisi-legal board of powertrippin’ losers need to be dissolved. Despite the majority of Canadians crying “bloody murder” over the continuing inhuman wrongs perpetrated by the oxymoronic Human Right’s Tribunal, the humorless, little people of the HRT go happily on, trying to destroy unqualified hapless dudes, such as myself. For almost three years, I have been defending myself to attacks from would be heroes blowing intolerance through their misguided horns.

I have written about the human rights commission industry in depth in an editor’s desk column in June 2008 and a cover story on these kangaroo courts in February 2008.