Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 28, 2005
Kempling's complaint goes unheard
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has refused to hear Christian teacher and counsellor Chris Kempling's complaint of religious discrimination against the Quesnel, B.C. School Board.
Kempling filed the complaint after the board disciplined him for granting CBC Radio a December 2003 interview about sexual orientation change therapy he offers in his private practice as a psychologist.
"It seems to me that it's open season on Christians," Kempling said. "If I can't discuss the services of my private Christian counselling practice on my own time, where is the freedom of speech that is supposed to be guaranteed by the charter?"
According to the Nov. 16 Vancouver Sun, the tribunal dismissed Kempling's complaint because the CBC interview identified him as a counsellor for the school board while connecting him to an advertisement for his orientation change therapy. Thus, the line was crossed between his role as a teacher and his private practice.
"The school board presented no evidence whatsoever that anyone from the public had complained about the broadcast," Kempling said. "And now I can't even argue my case or present any witnesses to support my claim of discrimination."
Kempling, a registered clinical counsellor with a doctorate in psychology, has fought a number of court battles over a series of letters to the editor opposing homosexual behaviour.
In June, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld a decision by the B.C. College of Teachers to suspend Kempling for a month without pay for conduct unbecoming a teacher for discrimination against homosexuals because of the letters.
Kempling has appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.