The slippery slide away from freedom: Supreme court ruling in Vriend v. Alberta:

There was no way, they said, that Christian schools and universities would be prevented from preaching and practicing their ancient beliefs about marriage, gender and sexual morality. 


In April of 1998, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered Alberta to add “sexual orientation” to its human rights legislation, in Vriend v. Alberta.

Approaching the 20th anniversary of this ruling, the University of Alberta recently organized an event about the Vriend case.

The March 19 gathering was not to discuss or analyze this court decision, but to celebrate it.

Only those who see the ruling favourably were invited by the U of A to speak at this festive forum.

When pondering the Vriend ruling, it is important to remember that, during the 1990s, activists across Canada were claiming that adding “sexual orientation” to human rights laws would never, ever lead to a Christian getting in trouble for saying that gay sex is sinful.

There was no way, they said, that Christian schools and universities would be prevented from preaching and practicing their ancient beliefs about marriage, gender and sexual morality.

Yet after the Supreme Court added “sexual orientation” to Alberta’s human rights laws, pastor Stephen Boissoin was prosecuted over a letter to the editor in the Red Deer Advocate, in which he denounced the homosexual political agenda.

In Ontario, printer Scott Brockie was prosecuted under human rights laws for having refused to print letterhead, envelopes and business cards for a homosexual advocacy group.

Mr. Brockie had never refused to serve gay customers.  But he refused this particular printing job because he said the group in question promoted the homosexual lifestyle.

Law societies in Ontario and BC have argued in court that Trinity Western University (TWU) cannot have a law school, simply because TWU’s Community Covenant requires staff and students to refrain from sex outside of the marriage of one man and one woman.

In Chilliwack, BC, elected school trustee Barry Neufeld has been threatened with a human rights complaint, and publicly urged by the Education Minister to resign, simply for expressing his disagreement with a curriculum that teaches children that gender is fluid, that there are more than two genders, and that gender is not determined by biological sex.

An Edmonton couple was told in 2017 that they could not adopt kids, in spite of the government recognizing that they would be loving, stable, competent, good parents.  The couple’s application was rejected solely because this husband and wife accept Biblical teachings about sex, gender and marriage.

All of this is a radical departure from what the gay rights movement was fighting for in the 1960s: for the government to leave them alone.  Repealing the criminal prohibition on sodomy, Pierre Trudeau declared that there is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.

This leave-me-alone, respect-my-privacy libertarianism, which once animated the gay rights movement, has been replaced by a movement to compel – through coercive state power – universal agreement with and support for homosexuality.  Across Canada, the movement to silence criticism of homosexuality (and now transgenderism) through laws and government policies grows stronger by the day.

In a free country, you can argue that gay sex is sinful, or that gay sex is normal, natural and good.  But a society can no longer be called “free” once the state attaches penalties, or withholds benefits, for speaking out one’s moral or philosophical beliefs, or for practicing them peacefully with others in voluntary communities of like-minded citizens.  In Canada today, expressing the “wrong” opinions will result in not being allowed to open or run a law school (even one acknowledged to be academically sound), not being allowed to adopt children, and not being allowed to maintain religious schools and universities.

Don’t expect to hear this perspective on individual freedom, or on the transformation of the gay rights movement from libertarian to totalitarian, at the University of Alberta.  This being a Canadian university in 2018, the thought of inviting speakers with opposing views did not cross anyone’s mind.


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  1. You hit the nail right on the head.
    The LGTBTQ movement started defensively and now they’re on the offensive trying to force/compel everyone to adhere to their beliefs. And if you speak up, you are automatically labelled as a bigot, hater, etc. Does this sound like a country that tolerates free speech?
    This Trudeau government has done more to destroy free speech and freedom of religion than any other government in the history of Canada.

    Everything from compelled speech with use of gender-neutral pronouns to forcing our kids to be indoctrinated with curriculums like SOGI (here in BC) at such a young age when children are vulnerable and still learning about themselves. When will this madness stop!

  2. I like the way Netherlanders come here to escape the permissive aspects of Dutch society, and end up inflicting their regressive views on Albertans.

  3. Thanks that he came here with such dedication for freedom of speech .Who wanted the “permissive aspects of Dutch Society” running wild here too. Speak for your taste only.

  4. In 1975 the special, LBGTQ sexual orientation human rights, were granted as a result of crime.
    At the time of ‘winning special rights for sexual orientation’, a person was not allowed to be a practicing member of the psychiatric profession and be a homosexual.
    It was illegal, but due to criminal collusion, criminal conspiracy and fraud, the laws were changed.
    “Before that time, all lesbians and gays were considered sick—pathologic.”
    “81 Words”
    “Spitzer was astounded to find standing at the bar several heads of university psychiatry departments, well known researchers, and the man in charge of dispensing federal grants to psychiatric training programs. All were closeted gay men”

    The whole process was illegal.

    In the seventies, homosexuality was made legal, by criminal means.
    Before that time all homosexuals were considered sick, pathologic.
    During the process, the vote to make homosexuality legal, there existed a group of Psychiatric doctors who were illegally practicing medicine.
    The laws at the time disallowed homosexuals to be Psychiatrists, it was simply illegal.
    These doctors criminally conspired, colluded and committed fraud, collecting monies they were not legally allowed and treated patients illegally.
    They corrupted and usurped our laws to have themselves declared ‘normal’.

    When the laws were being bandied about, one argument against the legalizaton of homosexuality was, ‘they’ll flock to Boy Scouts, daycares and schools’.

    Now a mere fifty years later, what do we have?
    The Girl Scout board of directors is three quarters lesbian and we have what is known as the ‘Rainbow Curriculum’ and your children being taken away by law if you refuse to recognize homosexulaity as ‘normal’.

    We must have a referendum with every citizen having a vote whether they believe homosexuality is normal or a medical disability, hormone misadventure, which is already covered by disability discrimination laws.

John Carpay

John Carpay was born in the Netherlands, and grew up in British Columbia. He earned his B.A. in Political Science at Laval University in Quebec City, and his LL.B. from the University of Calgary. Fluent in English, French, and Dutch, John served the Canadian Taxpayers Federation as Alberta Director from 2001 to 2005, advocating for lower taxes, less waste, and accountable government. Called to the Bar in 1999, he has been an advocate for freedom and the rule of law in constitutional cases across Canada. As the founder and president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, John has devoted his legal career to defending constitutional freedoms through litigation and education. He considers it a privilege to advocate for courageous and principled clients who take great risks – and make tremendous personal sacrifices – by resisting the unjust demands of intolerant government authorities. In 2010, John received the Pyramid Award for Ideas and Public Policy in recognition of his work in constitutional advocacy, and his success in building up and managing a non-profit organization to defend citizens’ freedoms. He serves on the Board of Advisors of iJustice, an initiative of the Centre for Civil Society, India.

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