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Anti-gay flyers distributed in city

Two weeks after Bill Whatcott was ordered to pay $17,500 to four people for distributing offensive anti-gay flyers, new pamphlets, apparently written with his knowledge, were deposited in Saskatoon mailboxes.

On May 2, a Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal ordered Whatcott to pay the fines and prohibited him from disseminating material that "promotes hatred against individuals because of their sexual orientation."

The new leaflet, titled Sodomites and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, says Whatcott's views remain unchanged.

"Bill Whatcott maintains homosexual sex is contrary to God's will and those who practice it do so to their eternal peril," the flyer says.

In a telephone interview, Whatcott said he couldn't confirm that he wrote the flyers, but he said he was pleased with them.

A Christian activist who travels between Saskatchewan and Alberta, Whatcott told the tribunal he wouldn't abide by its decision.

"I see the order of the tribunal as activist, it's really a homosexual activist order," he said. "It's not the rule of law -- it is draconian. . . . I hope that the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal wastes lots of money and has lots of fun trying to get anything out of me."

Whatcott is appealing the decision, arguing he has a right to criticize the sexual practices of others.

"It's essentially freedom of religion versus freedom of criticism of behaviour," said Tom Schuck, a Weyburn-based lawyer representing Whatcott. "If saying sodomy is a sin hurts the feelings of gay people then saying that you cannot say sodomy is a sin is obviously going to hurt the feelings of a lot of Christians who like to deliver that message."

Schuck said that the tribunal's decision restricts the church's ability to criticize the behaviour of others.

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission has yet to decide if it will take action on the latest flyer.

Staff lawyer Milton Woodard said the commission has the jurisdiction to enforce the tribunal's decision.

"It will probably be (a) fairly short time frame in terms of us deciding what, if anything, we think we should or could do," he said.

Anti-gay activist accused of hate mongering

SASKATOON - A Regina-based anti-gay activist is the subject of at least one criminal complaint and a complaint to the Human Rights Commission.

The complaints were filed against Bill Whatcott after hundreds of Saskatoon people found a pamphlet in their mail boxes this weekend.

The flyer refers to homosexuals as sodomites. It states that allowing homosexuals to teach will "lead to the early death and morbidity of many children".

Both the Saskatoon Police and the Human Rights Commission confirm they've received formal complaints that the flyer amounts to hate literature.

But Whatcott is unrepentant. He says someday society will look back and say he was right.

"Today the politically correct value is that homosexuality and abortion are right," he says. "Back in the 1950s, the idea of racial segregation was considered correct and people went to jail to change it. I believe promoting immoral sexual practices is some day going to be looked at as repugnant."

The flyers were distributed to homes around the university at the same time Whatcott and supporters were picketing a conference on gays in the education system.

Gay rights activists say Whatcott promotes hatred. They say he should be prosecuted under the anti-hate laws.

Gay film festival under fire

SASKATOON -- The Queer City Cinema film festival is Saskatchewan has come under fire from a Christian activist group and a Canadian Alliance member of Parliament.

In the House of Commons on Wednesday, MP Jim Pankiw called it a "strange misuse of taxpayers' money" for the Canada Council to give the festival.

Dianne Richardson of the Regina-based Christian Truth Activists said she has not seen any of the 45 gay-themed films in the festival, which began yesterday and moves to Winnipeg next week, but she believes they undermine society and traditional families. "Certainly it's an affront to our faith", Richardson said.

Her group has distributed a leaflet claiming the films depict bondage, necrophilia and "the violent raping of children".

Those claims are false, said Gary Varro, the festival's artistic director. He said most of the creative and experimental works are about various aspects of life, such as relationships gone sour and living solo.


As the police have looked the other way for the last quarter of a century, Saskatoon has gained an ignominous reputation for gaybashing, along with child molestation, prostitution by very young persons and, as recently reported nation wide, the dumping of drunks, mostly aboriginal, at the edge of town in subzero temperatures.

inJusticebusters are preparing to feature some firsthand accounts of Saskatoon gaybashing. Please contact us with your testimonials. While we promise confidentiality, we are most interested in stories from those who are prepared to come forward and tell their stories fully and truthfully and name the perpetrators. We understand that in many cases, the names will not be known; nonetheless we are interested in the details of these attacks.

We have had some response to this and will post our Saskatoon stories as soon as we have checked out the details. Right now, we are most concerned about defending our right to be on the internet and tell the truth! (Feb. 2001)

We ask anyone with experiences of being bashed (or reformed bashers, for that matter) to come forward with your stories.

Update: We realize this page has been posted for more than a year and we have not put up any gaybashing stories. That is because no one is prepared to come forward and state their experience.

As with the Native people being put at risk and even killed, it took a Darrell Night who was prepared to come forward in a very protected environment to get any action. Now we have some inquiries and a couple cops found guilty but we don't know if the situation is really going to improve. Time will tell.

We were also very fortunate that the Ross children came forward and were so willing to cooperate to get the truth out. We are waiting for such a set of circumstances in the gay community. Make no mistake, it has been happening for many years and continues to happen. We have no idea what it will take to get these gaybashers out of the closet!

Educate yourself: For background on the gay movement in Canada, check out Rick Bebout's site which includes a history of Body Politic and a personal memoir, Promiscuous Affections. See also the Canadian Lesbian and Gay