Den canadiske familie-aktivisten Bill Whatcott står denne uken for retten for en påstått “hatkriminalitet” han begikk da han delte ut flygeblad som viste de potensielle konsekvensene av homoseksuell aktivitet på en “pride” -parade i Toronto i 2016. I følge Whatcott påstår anklageren at hans distribusjon av flygebladene utgjør “forsettlig fremme av hat” mot homofile i henhold til straffeloven i Canada, og kan før til en straff på fengsel på 18 måneder hvis Whatcott blir funnet skyldig.
Canadas straffelov, som på dette punktet er svært lik den den norske, sier følgende:
(2) Alle som, ved å kommunisere uttalelser, annet enn i privat samtale, forsettlig fremmer hat mot en identifiserbar gruppe, er skyldige i
(a) en straffbar handling og straffes med fengsel inntil to år,
Whatcott, som har nektet straffskyld, sa til LifeSite at han avviste en straffeavtale som innebar “tre års husarrest” fordi han føler at han har en “moralsk forpliktelse” til å bekjempe anklagelsene mot ham.
“Jeg kunne ikke påstå [skyldig], det er så åpenbart absurd, jeg skylder dette landet å ikke erkjenne [skyldig],” sa han.
Lifesitenews skriver videre:
The incident in question took place in 2016 when Whatcott and several others marched in the Toronto Pride Parade dressed in skin-tight green bodysuits with face masks as members of the “Gay Zombies Cannabis Consumers Association.”
As previously reported by LifeSite, the group distributed 3,000 pamphlets that included flyers warning of the spiritual and physical harms of homosexual activity.
The flyers, which are currently under a publication ban from the court, contained graphic images of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as Bible verses and statistics regarding homosexual behavior.
The flyers also displayed a picture of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, calling for their repentance regarding their “homosexual activism.”
Whatcott is no stranger to defending his right to free speech. In 2013, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal he filed after a Saskatchewan human rights tribunal labeled two other flyers he created and disseminated as “hate speech.”
Although he has faced human rights tribunal hearings in the past in relation to his pro-family activism, this is the first time Whatcott has had to defend himself against an indictable criminal offence.
“I don’t even think [my flyer] raises to the human rights code level [a significantly less serious offence], which needs to be ‘vilification and calumny,’” he told LifeSite.
“I don’t see that in the flyer, so I don’t see how it can rise to an indictable offence. It’s baffling,” he continued.
Whatcott explained that he initially wanted a jury trial, but his lawyer, John Rosen, suggested a “judge-only trial” might be in Whatcott’s favor, warning that the “jury composition” in a notoriously liberal city like Toronto is likely to hold a bias against conservative values.
“In a normal situation I’d be very confident, but I have no confidence. And it isn’t that I have no confidence in my facts or the quality of my defense, I have no confidence in our courts to rule in any way that’s remotely close to sane or just,” he said in his statement to LifeSite.
Asked how he is dealing with the stress of possible jail time, Whatcott mentioned he has been relying on his own prayer and the prayer of others to strengthen his faith and aid him during this time.
“I do think that God is merciful and just, and fully in control of this,” he remarked.
“So, on that level I have reassurance,” he added.
Whatcott also stated that although 18 months in prison is a substantial amount of time, he is “at peace” with his decision to reject a plea deal.