I am happy with this ruling...
Yes, I am sure that gay activists are upset...but freedom of speech is important to me.
Gay activists are concerned a decision by Saskatchewan's highest court may provoke "gay bashing" as the country enters another round of debate on same-sex marriages.Hurrah! Some sense from the Courts, at last!
"I'm very disappointed," said Gens Hellquist, one of three Saskatoon gay activists who initiated a human rights complaint against a Regina man. The complaint pitted religious freedom of expression against the rights of gays to protection against hatred and ridicule.
On Thursday, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruled Hugh Owens did not violate the province's Human Rights Code when he placed an ad in The StarPhoenix in June 1997 that refl ected his views on homosexuality.
The ad cited Scripture from the Bible condemning homosexuality and depicted two stick-figure men holding hands with the universal "not-allowed" symbol superimposed over the figures.
A human rights board of inquiry found Owens violated the code because the ad exposed members of the gay community to hatred and ridicule, and was an affront to their dignity because of their sexual orientation.
A 2002 Queen's Bench decision upheld that finding, but it was appealed by Owens, who called Thursday's decision a vindication of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
"This decision says sharing the gospel message concerning this particular sexual behaviour or any other behaviour is protected and not a violation of the Human Rights Code," Owens said.
In his decision Justice Bob Richards wrote on behalf of Justices Nicholas Sherstobitoff and Gene Anne Smith that the ad was "bluntly presented and doubtlessly upsetting to many," but it didn't violate the code.