March 06, 2015 - 4:17 PM
CHRISTIAN ANTI-GAY, ANTI-ABORTION ACTIVIST BILL WHATCOTT IN TOWN?
KAMLOOPS – The hate speech versus free speech debate has landed literally on the doorsteps of Kamloops.
Last Saturday, Ben Gayfer says he was at the Northland Apartment complex on Nicola Street when a one-page pamphlet was slipped under the door.
The pamphlet, signed by Christian anti-gay activist Bill Whatcott, alleges the CBC delivers biased news in its coverage of homosexuals and abortion. Included on the pamphlet are graphic photos of an aborted fetus and an anus covered in warts with the author claiming unattributed "facts" about them. Gayfer says after searching the building, he found the man distributing the flyers but couldn’t confirm who he was. Gayfer says he's convinced the man he saw was Whatcott after looking him up online.
“He just deflected (my questions) and kept doing his thing like he had the right to do it – even though he had no right to be in the building at all,” he says.
Safe Spaces, a gay and lesbian support group in Kamloops, said the pamphlet is a "hate flyer."
“When I first saw the flyer, my main concern was what would happen if a child saw it? A rectum with anal warts is a very graphic photo that no child needs to see,” said spokesperson Krista Gallant. “I think that as a Canadian society we have moved on to a place of acceptance of differences.... Youth need to know that when people send out hateful things like that flyer, they can rise above those who are filled with hate, because love is more powerful than hate.”
Whatcott is known for his regular proselytizing through pamphlets. In 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled some of the anti-gay flyers Whatcott distributed throughout Saskatchewan fell within the definition of hate-speech. Two months ago, Whatcott won a defamation suit against the CBC after a judge agreed the media coverage made his views more extreme than explained in his pamphlet.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015