Anti-gay U.S. speaker allowed to enter Canada for anti-abortion conference

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      A controversial American anti-gay activist has been allowed entry into Canada after being detained by officials at the Regina airport.

      Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, was on his way for a speaking engagement at the anti-abortion Saskatchewan Pro Life Association conference in Weyburn, Saskatchewan.

      On April 10, Canadian officials stopped him, stating that he might be breaking Canadian hate-speech laws. He was given a one-day grace period in Regina for an appeal.

      After the Canadian Border Service Agency grilled him for three hours, he was allowed to enter Canada on April 11.

      According their website, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality is " dedicated to exposing the homosexual-bisexual-transgender activist agendas" and to oppose "the radical homosexual agenda and standing for God-ordained sexuality and the natural family as countless homosexual groups do in promoting their harmful agenda".

      The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies AFTAH as a hate-group. 




      Apr 11, 2014 at 5:26pm

      There's a difference between breaking hate-speech laws and speaking your opinion. When we stop allowing people to speak their opinion just because we disagree, we are on a slippery slope.

      non issue

      Apr 11, 2014 at 6:45pm

      Free country, let him say whatever nonsense he wants because tommorow it could be your speech being censored.


      Apr 11, 2014 at 7:56pm

      I see no problem with allowing this idiot into the country even if I disagree with him. Unfortunately there are elements of the major political herds who justify restrictions on expression when they are counter to whichever ideological conditioning the herd has undergone.


      Apr 11, 2014 at 8:50pm

      Hey, the Nazis had stringent rules about speaking out against Nazi values, too! I guess the Nazis were good people, they just had the wrong kooky made-up-last-century values, amirite? Good thing the LGBQT community has the right kooky made-up-last-century values!


      Apr 11, 2014 at 11:23pm

      To the people saying "all opinions are created equal", there's a big difference between having a private opinion and promoting hate publically. A lot of religious anti-homosexuality speech creates an environment that also makes hateful actions seem okay, leading to increased gay-bashing and youth suicide. Before you call hate speech "an opinion", check out what's anti-gay speech has done in Uganda (where laws have been enacted making it illegal to be gay - specifically because of the advocacy done by homophobic religious groups from the US - and in one example of many of the homophobia a law like that promotes, someone was burned alive for being gay) and all of the last couple of years in Russia (where gay bashing rates have increased drastically due to the recent laws criminalizing gay rights). I bet you've never walked home with one eye over your shoulder because you're afraid someone might beat you up or kill you in an alley for being who you are. I've felt that feeling in Canada. It might be a matter of opinion for you, but to people like me it has very real consequences.


      Apr 12, 2014 at 10:50am

      Thanks Ed. You have injected a voice of moderation and facts into this conversation.


      Apr 12, 2014 at 12:49pm

      Hate speech laws are not about suppressing opinions that others disagree with. Canada's hate speech law prohibits inciting hatred or wilfully promoting hatred against specific identifiable groups based on their colour, race, religion, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.

      The idea that "your" speech will be next if we censor hate speech is also a canard. There's little to no evidence of hate speech laws being abused in this way anywhere in the world (with the possible exception of the UK where some aspects of their law were too broadly written, but it has since been tightened up). Hate speech laws are narrowly written and interpreted, including here in Canada, precisely to avoid casting too wide of a net.

      These kinds of weak and false arguments are so common amongst the 'free speech at any cost' crowd, that in my opinion it mostly destroys the credibility of their entire position.


      Apr 12, 2014 at 3:37pm

      Re. terminology, it's best do use "anti-choice" instead of "anti-abortion". No one is really pro-abortion; however, some recognize that it is a necessary choice (pro-choice).


      Apr 12, 2014 at 4:36pm

      The most disappointing thing about this situation is not whether this guy should or shouldn't be allowed in the country, but that people in this country invited him here to talk. It's sad to think that there are Canadians who are open to this man's angry and paranoid worldview.

      We need to reach out to people that seem to channel their anxieties regarding change in society into fear and hatred.
      Extending marriage and workplace non-discrimination rights, etc., to the LGTB community (or another other group) does not mean a loss of rights for the rest of us, just like extending suffrage to women last century didn't ruin voting.


      Apr 12, 2014 at 9:55pm

      You would not believe how much hate is being spewed against the gays on the yahoo article.....