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Canada's Bill C-250

By KJ Mullins     May 9, 2007 in Politics
The hate laws of Canada's state that being it is illegal to incite hatred against an identifiable group based on colour, race, religion or ethnicity, but not sexual orientation. That was before Bill C-250.
Bill C-250 made it also illegal to incite hatred on anyone based on their sexual orientation. Focus of the Family was against the bill, citing that it was against the Bible.
The following is the amended Bill:
318. (1) Every one who advocates or promotes genocide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.
(2) In this section, "genocide" means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part any identifiable group, namely,
(a) killing members of the group; or
(b) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction...
(4) In this section, "identifiable group" means any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.
319. (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
(2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2)
(a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;
(b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;
(c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or
(d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada...
(7) In this section,
"communicating" includes communicating by telephone, broadcasting or other audible or visible means;
"identifiable group" has the same meaning as in section 318;
"public place" includes any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, express or implied;
"statements" includes words spoken or written or recorded electronically or electro-magnetically or otherwise, and gestures, signs or other visible representations.
Some worried that passages in the Bible condemning homosexuality could be declared hate literature.
Religious organizations argued that the Bill was against their beliefs and would make them criminals for having sermons stating what they interrupted the Bible to say.
Supporters of the bill reject this argument due to provisions that they say protect religious groups from prosecution if religious believers criticise homosexual behaviour in a way that does not promote hatred.
It passed because it doesn't take away from anyone's right to believe as they do. It's fine to believe that your religion is not always going to connect with public thinking. It's wrong when you use your religion and allow others who do not believe the same as you do to be victimized.
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More about Canadian hate laws, Religious, Homosexuals
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