Today’s Lynch List

Alright, here goes.

First off, Blazing Cat Fur and the CCEPA Blog note Mark Mercer’s latest for The Saint Mary’s JournalA small battle won for freedom of expression

Second, via the Cochrane Eagle: Calgarian receives death threats postmarked from Cochrane:

By Rachel Maclean

The messy scrawl of writing, punctuated by different coloured words or targeted faces in newspaper clippings, is not hard to distinguish.

The message is clear: “watch your back,” “death to homosexuals,” and “death to Darren Lund.”

It is a message Lund, an education professor at the University of Calgary, doesn’t enjoy receiving in the mail.

And the letters are posted from Cochrane, Alberta.

Lund’s name first made headlines in 2002 when Rev. Stephen Boissoin wrote a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate newspaper that said gay people are just “as immoral as the pedophiles, drug dealers and pimps that plague our communities.”
Boissoin went on to say that society should rid them of their wickedness by any steps necessary.

“This is what you say when you want to make people afraid and hateful,” Lund said .

The Human Rights Commission heard testimony  that shortly after the letter appeared in the paper, a young gay male was beaten in Red Deer.

“You don’t have to agree with someone’s lifestyle, but living free of violence would be a great start,” said Lund.

A sample of the letters Darren Lund has been receiving from an anonymous writer. They are postmarked from Cochrane. Photo by Rachel Maclean A sample of the letters Darren Lund has been receiving from an anonymous writer. They are postmarked from Cochrane. Photo by Rachel Maclean

Lund, a high school teacher in Red Deer at the time, complained to the human rights commission that the letter was spreading a message of hate towards homosexuals, and won the case in 2007.

But Boissoin appealed the ruling through the Court of Queen’s Bench, and won in 2009. The presiding judge said it was mostly due to legal errors made by the Human Rights commission.

But while all of this was going on, the hate mail towards Lund started to pour in.

“In a way it shows how ignorant they are,” said Lund, who happens to be a father of two teenage kids with his wife.  “Standing up for the rights of a homosexual must mean you are a homosexual.”

Read the rest here.

Third, via the Regina Leader-Post: Many want say in Regina marriage commissioner’s fight to not perform same-sex marriages:

By Barb Pacholik

REGINA — Church organizations, a union, civil libertarians, gay rights activists, and even a Newfoundlander are among those wanting a say when Saskatchewan’s highest court delves into proposed legislation that would allow marriage commissioners not to perform same-sex marriages.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has received 10 applications — representing nearly twice as many groups and individuals — seeking to intervene when judges ponder the controversial issue.

The provincial government applied to the court last year to rule on the constitutionality of a law that would exempt marriage commissioners from performing same-sex marriages for religious reasons. The court will consider two versions of proposed legislation — one providing such an exemption for all marriage commissioners and another providing it only to those who were commissioners when gay marriage was legalized in November 2004.

The court has not yet said when the case will be heard. But there are sure to be no shortage of lawyers in the room when that day comes.

The provincial government has already appointed two Saskatchewan lawyers to argue both sides of the issue.

In addition, those who have sought intervener status include: The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour’s (SFL) Solidarity and Pride Community which is joining legal forces with the Gay and Lesbian Community of Regina and the Prairie Lily Feminist Society plus four named individuals; Christian Legal Fellowship, a group of lawyers who believe in integrating Christian faith into the law; Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC); Canadian Fellowship of Churches and Ministers; Canadian Civil Liberties Association; Seventh-Day Adventist Church; Chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon; Egale Canada, an organization that advances equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-identified people; Evangelical Fellowship of Canada; and two Saskatchewan marriage commissioners, who say they risk losing their appointments because of their religious beliefs, along with a Newfoundland marriage commissioner, who took court action after losing her appointment and says the Saskatchewan case will impact her own.

Read the rest here. H/t to No Apologies.


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