Whatcott is finally coming out from the SCC today, after 16 months (usually, cases do not take that long – 12 months is a long time, in fact). What was it about? You can find factums here the hearing webcast here (lots of interveners, long hearing!) and the lower court decision here.
Human rights – Freedom of conscience and religion – Freedom of expression – Freedom from discrimination – Hate propaganda – Respondent distributing flyers containing crude, harsh and demeaning comments about potential sexual practices of same sex partners – Whether the appellate court was correct in holding that the flyers did not violate s. 14(1)(b) of The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, S.S. 1979, c. S-24.1 (the “Code”) – What is the correct process, and which contextual factors should human rights administrative decision-makers and courts consider, when applying hate propaganda provisions of human rights legislation so that free expression is not unduly limited, the right to be free from discrimination is protected and the State’s obligations to protect citizens from incitement to hate is met – Does “sexual orientation” include sexual practices and, if so, to what extent – Is it possible to “love the sinner, hate the sin” so that hateful messages directed at conduct do not violate hate propaganda provisions of human rights legislation.
The Respondent, on behalf of the Christian Truth Activists, distributed four flyers in the mailboxes of various homes in Saskatoon and Regina in 2001 and 2002. Four persons who received the flyers filed complaints alleging that the material in them “promotes hatred against individuals because of their sexual orientation” in violation of s. 14(1)(b) of the Code. The Applicant appointed a Tribunal to hear the complaints. The Tribunal concluded that the flyers contravened the Code. The Respondent appealed, arguing that he was exercising his right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion and that the flyers do not violate the Code. Alternatively, he argued that if the materials exhibit hate, it is directed towards sexual behaviour, which is not a prohibited ground. If sexual behaviour is a prohibited ground within the meaning of sexual orientation, he argued that it is overbroad and should be inoperative to the extent that it conflicts with s. 4 and 5 of the Code and s. 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Community Arts Practice, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
in association with Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto Invite you to
THE CONTEMPORARY URGENCIES OF AUDRE LORDE’S LEGACY, MARCH 7-21, 2013
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: #audrelordeslegacy2013
Medicines for Survival: Indigenous Knowledge and the Sacred: a lecture by M. Jacqui Alexander
DATE: Thursday March 7th PLACE: HNES 140, FES, York University TIME: 6 p.m. http://www.utoronto.ca/ethnicstudies/fac_wgsi.html
Litanies for our Survival: Visual and Performative Conversations with Audre Lorde and inaugural exhibition in new Community Arts Practice Space
DATE: Thursday March 7th PLACE: HNES 283 and throughout the building, FES, York University TIME: 7:30 p.m.
Film screening, Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984-1992 (directed by Dagmar Schultz) Followed by panel discussion with Dagmar Schultz, Marion Kraft, Gloria Wekker, M. Jacqui Alexander, Carol Allain, Farrah Khan, Bonita Lawrence
[see clip above]
DATE: Friday March 15th PLACE: William Doo Auditorium, University of Toronto, 45 Willcocks Street TIME: 6:30 p.m.
Audre Lorde, the highly influential, award winning African-American lesbian poet came to live in West-Berlin in the 1980s. During her stay as a visiting professor, she was the mentor and catalyst who ignited the Afro-German movement. Lorde also had a decisive impact on white women, challenging them to acknowledge the significance of their white privilege and learning to deal with difference in constructive ways.
What’s (Homo)Sexuality got to do with it? Lecture by Gloria Wekker, with responses from Anna Agathangelou and Jin Haritaworn, chaired by Ena Dua
DATE: Tuesday March 19th PLACE: HNES 140, FES, York University TIME: 1 p.m.
“After the 9-5 in Audre’s Livingroom” (An intimate, collaborative poetry marathon recite & respond multidisciplinary hangout!) presented by backforward collective
DATE: Thursday March 21st PLACE: Whippersnapper Gallery, 594b Dundas St. West TIME: 6 – 11 pm
All PUBLIC. All FREE.
The Law Commission of Ontario is releasing the Final Report on Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work April 3 10-1130AM at the Law Society of Upper Canada. Details + RSVP here. See here for a newspaper piece on the Comission’s work and here for the Consultation Paper, Background Paper and Interim Report.