Judgment a “legal absurdity,” says lawyer
On September 25, 1991, an Ontario judge ruled that Canada’s Human Rights Act is unconstitutional because it does not include “sexual orientation” among its prohibition grounds of discrimination.
The decision is another example of trying to legislate from the judicial bench. It is also an attempt to change Canadian law to sit the agenda of homosexual activists, said Gwen Landolt, legal counsel for REAL Women of Canada.
The eight-page ruling from Mr. Justice Joseph McDonald must be appealed by Justice Minister Kim Campbell within thirty days. Failing this, the entire Human Rights Act will become invalid in six months.
As of press time (October 8), Mrs. Campbell’s office has refused to say whether or not the appeal will be launched. The office did say that homosexual rights groups are pressuring the Minister to amend the act. Campbell’s own riding is Vancouver Center, which contains a strong homosexual lobby. She herself is a feminist who favours a change.
Presented with a copy of the ruling by The Interim, Mrs. Landolt described the judgment as a “legal absurdity.”
“Judge McDonald,” she said, “has written a document merely expressing his own personal opinion. IF practicing homosexuals must be added to the list of persons not to be discriminated against, why not tall people, or people with red hair, or whomever?”
Ottawa Sun columnist Peter Stockland shared Landolt’s anger and disgust. In a column appearing on October 3. Stockland suggested that Judge McDonald should get himself elected before trying to insert new phrases into the Bill of Rights.
No reason given
Nowhere in Judge McDonald’s ruling did he cite any reasons for his decision. He did state that section 3(1) of the Human Rights Act, which describes the present list of proscribed grounds of discrimination, is contrary to the guarantee of equal benefit of the law set out in section 18 of the Constitution Act of 1982.
The judge was also absent from his office and refused to return phone calls. McDonald’s ruling is not based on precedent in law or perceived intent of legislators.
The case was brought before the court by lawyer Philip MacAdam on behalf of Graham Haig, an Ottawa homosexual activist, and Joshua Birth. Birch is a former air force captain who was forced to quit the military in 1990 after he told his commanding officer he was homosexual. The Crown was represented by Barbara McIssac.
In 1990, Haig was instrumental in pressuring the City of Ottawa to establish a Gay Pride Day. On Father’s Day 1990, a column written by him appeared on the editorial pages of the Ottawa Citizen. In it he vigorously defended the Body Politic, a homosexual Toronto magazine, now defunct. It was prosecuted in the late seventies for publishing an article entitled “Men loving boys, Boys loving men.” Such prosecutions, Haig contends, are an “outrage” against homosexuals and the principles of freedom of speech.
Human Rights Commission
Maxwell Yalden, Canada’s Human Rights Commissioner, has “applauded the ruling and said it could finally force the federal government to amend the act.” (Ottawa Citizen, September 25, 1991)
Yalden and the commission he heads have long been actively lobbying to gain more power for homosexuals. Its annual reports have suggested repeatedly that “discrimination” on the grounds of sexual orientation be prohibited across Canada, not just in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and the Yukon.
Despite the fact that it is supposed to be an impartial government body, the Commission ruled in the Mossop case that homosexual unions should be recognized as “familial.” It also strongly opposes any government regulations that would require foreign visitors to prove they are free of AIDS before entering Canada (The Interim, June 1990)
Attempts by The Interim to contact Mr. Yalden failed, but spokesman Charles Mojsej did agree to discuss the Commission’s position on homosexual rights.
Yalden, Mr. Mojsej stated, had every right to publicly encourage a change in the law because the Charter of Rights and Freedoms already prohibits discrimination on the grounds of “sexual orientation.” When it was pointed out to him that it does no such thing, Mr. Mojsej obtained a copy and admitted that he was mistaken.
He was then asked why the Commission is so active in its pursuit of homosexual rights, but has never attempted to defend the rights of the unborn child.
Mr. Mojsej stated that the Commission is mandated to defend people in employment-related cases, and abortion is not such a matter. He was then asked why the Commission has never lobbied for the rights of health care workers who have been threatened or fired due to their opposition to abortion. He replied that no complaints have been received by such people. “Religion-related issues do not fall within the mandate of the Commission,” he said.
Interim readers who wish to express their opposition to inclusion of homosexual rights in the Bill of Rights should write to the following addresses:
Justice minister Kim Campbell
Kent & Wellington Streets
Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 0A6
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2
Mr. Max Yalden
Canadian Human Rights Commission
320 Queen Street East
Place de Ville, Tower “A”
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1E1