The Lynch List, 21-Mar-2011

First: Human rights are a difficult thing to enforce when you’re talking about immigration and citizenship status. Can a sovereign government unilaterally set immigration requirements at will? In the one corner, government must operate under the Rule of Law, in which it must give all its citizens equal treatment (not benefit) under the law. On the other hand, does a commonwealth not have the same freedom to associate as its citizens? That would include the freedom not to associate, on any criteria that the people agree to.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of this case, in which a little-known section in the Immigration Act is keeping the son of a war bride from gaining his citizenship – because he was born out of wedlock.

Immigration is by its very nature discrimination. Citizenship status by its very nature is discriminatory. So I shrug when Mr. Munroe claims discrimination. Yes, we should look at the archaic portions of our immigration law and consider some reasonable retroactive changes; but this should be done legislatively, not through a bureaucrat in the Human Rights Tribunal.

Second: There hasn’t been a complaint launched yet, but this situation is just begging for one. A florist in New Brunswick, after initially agreeing to supply cut flowers for a wedding, backed out once she realized that it was two women getting married. Citing her religious beliefs, this set off a firestorm of condemnation from all quarters.

All the usual arguments are trotted out; attacking her beliefs as hypocritical, accusations of “hatred” and bigotry, and calls for a boycott. All above-board in a civil society, in my opinion: you’re free to voice your own opinion and patronize businesses that you feel comfortable with.

Just as Kimberly Evans should be free to serve customers that she is comfortable with. And honestly, I doubt that Evans would refuse service to a gay person; like many conscientious Christians across the nation, it is the act or the behavior that she refuses to enable or participate in.

The “right to receive services” is a fake human right, created by government. You might call it a civil right. It conflicts with the real human right to property, which is essentially the same as freedom of conscience. The French created many of these civil rights in the 1600’s, allowing the confiscation of property and murder of those who didn’t meet the religious requirements of the day…

Third: Another HRTO case in which a police officer is presumed to be an unconscious racist:

…a tribunal must be alert, at all stages of the inquiry, to evidence from which stereotyping can be inferred because racial discrimination often manifests at an unconscious level as subconscious stereotyping.

The officer was found guilty on the basis of a stereotype promulgated by an “expert on the experience of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system”; that all police officers are biased against natives.  Read the entire decision here.

Fourth: Here’s something to brighten up your Monday morning. While Heather McNoughton was in charge of the BCHRT, this complaint would have surely been heard:

A man denied the chance to adopt the dog he believed was the reincarnation of a dead pet will not have his case heard before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

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