A provincial tribunal has ordered a Canadian Christian man to pay $55,000 to a transgender activist for the offense of distributing a flyer stating, accurately, that the transgender activist, who claims to be a woman, is a “biological male” who “will always be male.”
In a 104-page ruling, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal found Bill Whatcott, 52, guilty of violating the province’s human rights code, which prohibits the publishing of material that “indicates discrimination or an intention to discriminate against a person or group of persons, or is likely to expose a person or group of persons to hatred or contempt” on the basis of certain politically protected characteristics, among them “gender identity or expression.”
The court ordered Whatcott to pay the activist, Morgane (born Ronan) Oger, $35,000 in compensation for injury to his “dignity, feelings and self-respect” plus $20,000 — the largest such award in 20 years — for his “improper conduct” before and during the hearings, most of which consisted of treating the tribunal, which Whatcott repeatedly called a “kangaroo court,” with the contempt it deserved.
Whatcott, who has a history of run-ins with the Canadian speech police, discovered in 2017 that Oger was running for local office on the New Democratic Party (NDP) ticket. He claims that after praying for direction regarding the election, he began researching various candidates and discovered that Oger, who had lobbied to have “gender identity or expression” added to the code and was promoting lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, was being referred to as a woman despite the fact that Oger had been born male.
Whatcott subsequently printed and distributed a flyer with a picture of Oger, describing Oger as “a biological male” who “embraced a transvestite lifestyle.”
“The truth is there are only two genders, male and female[,] and they are God[-]given and unchangeable,” he wrote. “Ronan may have government ID that refers to him by the French female name ‘Morgane’ and the media, NDP, and everyone in the riding [district] might try to pretend Ronan is a woman. But the truth is Ronan’s DNA will always be male, he will never have a uterus, and no amount of cosmetic surgery, fake hormones, or media propaganda is going to be able to change these facts.”
Transgenderism, Whatcott declared, “is an impossibility” that has both physical and spiritual consequences. Citing Bible verses, Whatcott urged the reader to turn to Christ for forgiveness of sins and not to vote for Oger.
Oger, in response, hauled Whatcott before the tribunal, claiming his flyer had amounted to discrimination and caused Oger to fear for his safety. Whatcott argued that his rights to free speech and freedom of religion, as expressed in Canada’s constitution, permitted him to publish his flyer.
As Whatcott correctly deduced, the tribunal was stacked against him from day one, as even a cursory reading of the decision reveals.
Great deference is given to protecting transgenders’ feelings and legal privileges. The court referred to the “disadvantage, prejudice, stereotyping and vulnerability” of transgendered persons, calling them “among the most marginalized in our society.” The court further declared “in the strongest possible terms” that transgenderism is not even a matter for public debate because it is “as valuable to ongoing public debate as whether one race is superior to another.”
By contrast, the court dismissed Whatcott’s arguments out of hand. To buttress his flyer’s assertions, Whatcott sought to introduce expert testimony regarding Oger’s maleness but was denied the opportunity to do so. “There is no defense of ‘truth’ in respect of hate speech,” wrote the court. Furthermore, any infringements on Whatcott’s liberty brought about by the hate-speech law and the lawsuit are “minor,” said the court. Whatcott “is free to hold his religious beliefs and communicate them privately. He is only prohibited from practicing his religion in a way that violates the human rights of other people.”
Whatcott told LifeSiteNews he has no intention of paying the fines levied by the tribunal, which he can’t afford anyway, or of curtailing his activism. He also said he hasn’t yet decided whether to appeal the decision.
“Jesus Christ is still Lord and he will come again,” he said. “I put my hope into that.”