The Human Rights Act provision permits anyone who objects to even a borderline case of alleged hate speech to expose the author to a costly, cumbersome human rights adjudication process, said Athansios Hadjis – who is presiding over a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal against Internet webmaster Marc Lemire.
Citing a recent case in which Maclean’s magazine columnist Mark Steyn defended himself against a complaint from a Muslim group, Mr. Hadjis said it may be all too easy for an individual to be “dragged through the process.”
Mr. Hadjis said that the controversial provision created to combat hate messages left on telephone machines operated by member of the far right — made sense in the past. However, he said that its usefulness may be in the past.
Actually, it didn’t. They didn’t phone you. You had to phone the number and get yourself offended.
Hate messages on telephone message machines tended to be overt, he said, whereas the ocean of opinions on the Internet include many that are borderline cases of hate.
“Maybe the scale is tipping the other way,” Mr. Hadjis interjected during closing submissions at the Lemire hearing. “There is so much grey zone here that it may tip the scale back the other way.”
“Suddenly, the chilling effect catches not only individuals who set up telephone messages…but just about everyone who posts anything on the Internet,” Mr. Hadjis said. “What we have is the reality of the Internet – open to all; everyone participates…” he said.
And remember — truth is no defense in Section 13 cases like this one:
In one of the longer messages, the author claimed that homosexuals had willingly spread AIDS because of their “sleazy” sexual habits. [warning: link NSFW] “Innocents must die so that the sick sex games of a perverted minority may continue,” the author message said.
Referring to the AIDS posting, Ms. Bright said: “What is being said here is that homosexual perversion and their refusal to be tested (for AIDS) has caused thousands of people to die. In my submission, that is a cruel and hateful stereotype.”
Er, no: their refusal to stop indulging in unsafe activities even after billions of dollars of ubiquitous advertising and activism and award-winning movies & musicals over the past two decades, they know they are at risk, and do it anyway.
It’s called freedom and personal (ir)responsibility. How come gay men get to enjoy those rights in one “meatspace” manifestation but Lemire doesn’t enjoy those rights in a virtual forum.
Note: more people read the Globe & Mail than read Lemire’s site.
You have just repeated the “offensive” comment about AIDS in a public tribunal AND in the nation’s largest newspaper.
Are you going to be charged now?
Can’t you just FEEEEEEEEEEEEL the “hatred” spreading across the nation? I sense a rash of “Matthew Shepard” killings revving up even as I write this!!!
Can people this highly educated and compensated really be this idiotic? (At my expense, both financially and philosophically?)
Oh, wait! Oh, no: not… not… FACTS?!?
Mr. Hadjis noted that the author had assembled a pastiche of statistics, AIDS research and inflamed hyperbole: “Is that the first time that has happened?” he asked.
Ms. Blight responded that it is one thing to have concerns about free expression, but postings of this sort are aimed at something far more insidious than mere debate – spreading hatred against identifiable minorities.
And how’s that working out? How successful has Lemire’s tiny, mostly unread-until-this-case-brought-it-so-much-attention site been at “spreading hatred” against homosexuals, in the face of a huge, well funded gay lobby and its corporate pals?
More gays have died of self-inflicted AIDS than have, will or could ever die because of something written in the Globe & Mail or on Lemire’s site.
Ms. Blight argued against a recommendation by Mr. Lemire that jokes and emotional expressions which are a spontaneous reaction to material already posted should be exempted from prosecution as a human rights violation.
“The jokes for which the exemption is sought are not, in my submission, funny,” Ms. Blight said. “There is no free pass for jokes, either.”
Read the whole thing for the Government’s lame ass arguments.
Ezra Levant estimates the government spent half a million dollars going after him. Can you imagine how much this crap is costing us?