LGBT Police Launch Hate Crime Probe Of Anti-Gay Leader

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    Police Launch Hate Crime Probe Of Anti-Gay Leader
    by Rich Peters Western Canada Bureau

    Posted: June 8, 2005 5:00 pm ET

    (Calgary, Alberta) The leader of an anti-gay group is under investigation for hate crimes after ignoring a human rights tribunal order to stop distributing homophobic literature.
    The police probe into Bill Whatcott and his group follows the distribution of more than 2,000 leaflets attacking gays that were put in mailboxes throughout Calgary.

    The flyers refer to gay marriage as "sodomite marriage" and use graphic language to describe the alleged sex practices of homosexuals, according to a CBC broadcast report.

    All of the flyers bore Whatcott's name and phone number.

    The distribution targeted the riding of Deputy Canadian Prime Minister Anne McLellan who supports same-sex marriage and will vote for the government's marriage bill later this month.
    Canada has two laws covering hate crimes. One involves physical attacks against minorities. The other bans hate speech in verbal or written form. The LGBT community is named in both laws under the groups protected. (story)

    Less than three weeks ago a Saskatchewan human rights tribunal ordered Bill Whatcott and his group, Christian Truth Activists not to distribute material that promotes hatred against people because of their sexual orientation. (story)

    The tribunal found Whatcott of inciting hatred against gays and lesbians and ordered him to pay more than $17,000 to four people who filed a complaint in 2002 after Whatcott's group distributed pamphlets in Regina and Saskatoon that referred to gays as "sodomites" and called same-sex relationships "filthy". One of the flyers said: "Sodomites are 430 times more likely to acquire AIDS and three times more likely to sexually abuse children!"

    Following the distribution of the most recent flyers a number of Calgary residents complained to police.

    In announcing the police investigation Const. Steve Camp, of the Edmonton police hate crimes unit, called the flyers "offensive" and said "it's an affront on the basic tenets of our society, which is about multiculturalism, tolerance and peaceful co-existence."

    Whatcott has refused to pay the fine leveled by the human rights tribunal and dared police to arrest him.

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