Supreme Court of Canada Makes Hate Speech Illegal

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Canada is protecting their LGBT community by making hate speech illegal. In the case of William Whatcott of Saskatchewan, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously against Whatcott who was handing out anti-LGBT pamphlets. Whatcott, an anti-gay activist, received a $17,500 penalty for handing out anti-gay pamphlets in the street. This ruling upholds the definition of hate speech that was created by the Supreme Court in 1991The changes now include any language that ridicules, belittles, or otherwise affronts the dignity of identifiable groups. “Framing speech as arising in a moral context or within a public policy debate does not cleanse it of its harmful effect,” said the judges. The judges offer three main pieces of guidance for future tribunals: first, apply the law objectively; second, the hate must be described as detestation and vilification; and third, tribunals must decide what the effect of the expression at issue has and if that group or person will be a target by others because of it.  Although he is now breaking the law, Whatcott said he will continue to spread his hate. [National Post]

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