Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 10, 2004
C-250 hate bill silences CCCB
By ART BABYCH
"Christians have seen their rights to dissent restricted by case after case in the courts."
- Dr. Janet Epp Buckingham
Despite efforts by independent Senator Anne Cools and a small group of Progressive Conservative senators who opposed the bill, it passed by a vote of 59-11. The opponents had hoped to stall the bill until a federal election call, expected within weeks.
After the bill's passage, the CCCB declined further comment.
In its release, the CCRL noted comments last year attributed to the Rev. Brent Hawkes of the Metropolitan Community Church in Toronto suggesting that Vatican statements or a Catholic bishop's commentary on homosexuality are expressions of hatred.
"We suspect Canadians will soon discover the extent of the new peril imposed on their freedom of speech only after they receive that knock on the door to answer to the authorities," the release stated.
The EFC said it is "deeply disturbed" about the possible impact of C-250 on religious freedom. Dr. Janet Epp Buckingham, director of law and public policy of the EFC, said, "This legislation comes at a time when issues of sexual morality and marriage are at the forefront of public debate. Without a clear definition of what is criminal hatred, it is ambiguous what public statements will be considered criminal. Christians have seen their rights to dissent restricted by case after case in the courts," Buckingham said in a news release.
Bill C-250 was passed just in time to silence opposition to same-sex marriage during the election campaign, said Dr. Charles McVety, president of the Canada Family Action Coalition.
"People of faith and good will across the nation are deeply disturbed by such draconian measures to silence religious and moral teaching related to sex outside marriage therefore I am urging all Canadians not to vote for members of Parliament who passed this new law."
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.