In late November 2007, the Alberta Human Rights Commission (AHRC) ruled that Pastor Stephen Boissoin and the Concerned Christian Coalition (CCC) violated Alberta's human rights law by publishing a letter in a local newspaper that was "likely to expose homosexuals to hatred or contempt because of their sexual preference" (click here for more information). On May 30, in the penalty phase of the proceedings, the AHRC ruled that Boissoin and CCC must pay damages equivalent to $7,000 as a result of the tribunal's decision to side with the complainant, homosexual activist Darren Lund (to view the full ruling, click here).
The ruling also ordered Boissoin and CCC to cease publishing "disparaging remarks" about homosexuals in the future in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the internet. Furthermore, Boissoin was ordered to publicly apologize to Lund in a local newspaper statement.
Boissoin has publicly stated that he "will never offer an apology" and has appealed the ruling. His court appearance is scheduled for September 16-17 (click here to download the legal brief). As is to be expected in a case that has dragged on for seven years, his court costs have accumulated to over $150,000. You can make a donation to his legal costs online by going to http://www.stephenboissoin.com/. I know that I am planning to.
This is an important case for freedom of expression and belief here in Canada. Mr. Boissoin has been effectively muzzled by a quasi-legal body for the rest of his life from ever expressing his biblically-based views on homosexuality. In what is reminiscent of Soviet show trials, he is also being forced to publicly apologize for a crime he claims never to have committed. This kind of ruling cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged.