Thursday, June 19, 2008

Paper to Alberta Human Rights Commission: Get Your Hands off Our Letters Page

re: "June 19, 2008 ( - The Red Deer Advocate isn't Canada's largest or most influential newspaper. Rather, it's a local Alberta paper with a daily circulation of about 17,000, serving a city with a population of a mere 83,000. But in recent years this small-town paper has been receiving international attention, after Christian pastor Steve Boissoin was hauled before the Alberta Human Rights Commission (AHRC) for publishing a letter criticizing the homosexualist activist agenda in the Advocate. /And now the Red Deer Advocate is joining the increasingly vocal and passionate contingent of Canadians who say they have had enough of the human rights commissions. /It was widely reported in the media that several weeks ago the AHRC handed down a "remedy" ruling to Steve Boissoin, ordering the pastor to pay $7,000 in fines, to desist from ever again making "disparaging" remarks about homosexuals or homosexuality, and, lastly, to apologize to Darren Lund, the complainant in the case, in a letter, to be published in the same publication that Boissoin's original letter appeared in - the Red Deer Advocate. /
The problem with the tribunal's ruling, however, is that not only has Boissoin repeatedly stated he will not apologize, but the paper in which he is supposed to publish his letter has declared its belief that the AHRC has way overstepped its bounds in ordering the paper to print Boissoin's letter in the first place. /
In a recent op-ed, managing editor Joe McLaughlin, speaking on behalf of the Advocate, expressed his paper's disgust with the AHRC's decision in the Boissoin case, and in particular with the commission's decision to order his paper to publish a coerced apology letter..."...

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