A homosexual activist has appealed a decision of the Canadian Human Rights Commission which dismissed his legal complaint charging a Catholic magazine with making derogatory remarks about homosexuals for stating the Catholic teaching on sexual ethics.
In February 2007 Rob Wells, a member of the Pride Center of Edmonton, filed a nine-point complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission alleging that Catholic Insight had targeted homosexuals as a powerful menace and innately evil, claiming it used inflammatory and derogatory language to create a tone of “extreme hatred and contempt.”
Catholic Insight responded to these charges in its January 2008 issue, saying the complaint consists of “three pages of isolated and fragmentary extracts from articles dating back as far as 1994, without any context.” Catholic Insight continued, saying, “these isolated quotes are not meaningful without the contexts of the articles themselves from which they were culled; in fact, most of them are even out of context from the sentences from which they were taken.”
The magazine further said it regards the charges as “unfounded and made with the intent to harass.”
On July 4, Well’s complaint against Catholic Insight was dropped by the Human Rights Commission “because the material is not likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt based on sexual orientation,” a letter sent to the magazine says.
Undeterred by the commission’s finding, Wells filed an appeal of the decision with the Canadian Federal Court in Edmonton, on July 31, according to a court docket document.
Writing in a July 4 editorial on the Catholic Insight web site, the magazine’s editor Father Alphonse de Valk said the “persecution” of Catholic Insight might not be over, reporting that judicial review of the complaint’s dismissal is possible if filed within 30 days. He said the magazine, which he described as being “of modest budget,” is still liable for $20,000 in legal expenses.