Your Friday Lynch List:
First: The BCHRT just couldn’t pass this one up (also caught below by Walker). It was eventually dismissed, but the complaint was initially accepted and the Vancouver Police Board forced to fight it for five years. I mean, isn’t it time that the Code is amended to include “sexual expression”?:
The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed the complaint of a Vancouver man who alleged he was denied a chauffeur’s permit due to his BDSM lifestyle and pagan beliefs.
Here’s the justification of pursuing the complaint from the judgment:
In Hayes (No. 1), the Tribunal also accepted for filing Mr. Hayes’ complaint of discrimination in services on the ground of sexual orientation. The Tribunal did so on the basis that discrimination against a person who practices a “BDSM lifestyle” could (not necessarily did) constitute discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Second: Gee, you know where this is headed after the first few paragraphs (my emphasis):
On the one side, supporters argue HRCs are needed as much as ever. On the other, extreme critics call for their disbanding.
Third: Barbara Hall accepts submissions for a report on the attacks against Asian anglers in Ontario, and her response is all-too-predictable.
Those that confirm her predetermined conclusion are accepted as fact.
Those that express concerns about conservation of fish stocks are filed under “expresses negative and discriminatory sentiments towards Asian Canadians”.
Fourth: Terry O’Neill in the Tri-City News on the broadening of human rights codes to include the poorly-defined terms of “gender identity” and “gender expression”:
Operating in such a fundamentally unjust framework, it’s not only counterproductive but also unfair to all Canadians to seek to broaden the list of the groups supposedly protected by federal human rights law.
Fifth: I am beginning to see (thanks Kevin) the serious ramifications of the Levant vs Vigna decision. Essentially, the judge has decided that any opposition to the HRC’s is unworthy of any of the typical defences for journalists in court. Scary stuff for anyone who publishes anything critical of the system.
Popehat, south of the border, launched a tirade that would get him arrested up here. I’ll quote a section that I think I’m legally allowed to, but I might get slapped with a suit for simply linking to a “far-right” site:
Vigna didn’t file this suit to salvage his reputation. A prosecutor who would beg off from trial by whining about his inner feelings will have no reputation to save once word gets out. Vigna filed this suit to stifle Levant’s legitimate criticism of his agency and his methods. To make an example of Levant, and to warn more timid souls who would dare to criticize the censors of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. To censor an inconvenient critic who couldn’t be silenced by the usual accusation of hate speech.