Please note-

*Please note- Your browser preferences must be set to 'allow 3rd party cookies' in order to comment in our diaries.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Canadian Gay Couple Firebombed

By Kilian Melloy -

A same-sex male couple in Canada has apparently been firebombed, losing their home in the ensuing blaze. The seeming hate crime unfolded against a national backdrop that saw gays excoriated by a television preacher and the work of a gay sculptor censored.

The gay family that was burned out of their home on Oct. 18 lived on Prince Edward Island, in the small town of Little Pond, according to a, Oct. 26 National Post article. The men, who were described as being "middle aged," barely escaped the conflagration that resulted after a firebomb was hurled through their window early in the morning, the article said. The home was "a total loss," an official report said. A week before the home was set alight, the men’s mailbox was burned.

Though local residents, including the Rev. Beth Johnston, spoke of the blaze as a "hate crime" that targeted the men because they are gay, the police professed not to have "gone down that road."

While locals expressed shock and dismay over the firebombing, the national picture is not entirely friendly toward gays. A Canadian televangelist, Charles McVety, had made gays the object of his wrath, telling viewers that gays wanted to teach small children in school how to have gay sex and claiming that a hate crimes law made it a crime to condemn homosexuality on religious grounds, reported a Dec. 23 National Post op-ed by Ronald I. Cohen.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council found that McVety’s televised statements against gays were "disparaging and unacceptable," and McVety saw his program taken off their air temporarily. McVety now claims that the content of his program is subject to review.

The claim that hate crimes laws penalize Christians for their Biblically based beliefs that homosexuals are "sinful" is a common one. Proponents of such laws say such claims are factually inaccurate. Cohen called McVety’s claim that hate crimes protections criminalize Christians an "absurd accusation.... It is only genocidal advocacy or hatred incitement that are crimes, not religion-based or personally-motivated ’statements’ against the (for some) sinful nature of homosexuality or related issues such as same-sex marriage."

As for McVety’s insinuation that gays had attempted to get sexually explicit material taught in schools, "While McVety may not like homosexuality, and that is his right, to leave the totally unsubstantiated and insupportable impression that gay and lesbian adults have a predilection toward sex with young, ’underage people’ is insidious and unacceptable," argued Cohen.

An opposing view was set out in a separate op-ed in the same edition of the National Post. Jesse Kline argued that McVety was being subjected to "censorship" by the CBSC. "McVety has been trying to spin this story ever since the decision was released," Kline wrote. " ’How can the private broadcasters justify blacklisting McVety because he opposed spending tax dollars in support of the gay pride parade?’ reads a statement on the Word TV website.

"The council’s decision specifically states that it has ’no difficulty with the broadcast of a critical position regarding the funding of LGBT events,’ " Kline’s op-ed continues. "What it did have a problem with was McVety’s mischaracterization of the Pride parade as a ’sex parade’ that is rife with ’sexual perversion.’ " Despite what appeared to be willful mischaracterizations on McVety’s part, however, Kline proceeded to argue that, "McVety deserves to be criticized, but not censored."

Kline went on to argue that the code of ethics under which the CBSC made its decision to punish McVety was based on an urge by the broadcasting company to self-censor in a bid to fend off any threat of government censorship. "Yet, a censorship regime created under the threat of state coercion is not all that much better than government censorship, as the result is the same," Kline wrote. "McVety will likely be prevented from making similar remarks in the future and the decision will have the effect of chilling free speech.

"While I fundamentally disagree with McVety’s views on homosexuality, they do represent the views of many religious people," Kline added. "The Christian television station CTS, which broadcasts the show, would be wise to ignore rulings that attempt to censor opinions that are held by many of its viewers."

Kline proposed that the controversy surrounding McVety’s statements was a welcome thing--a light turned upon McVety’s distortions that served the cause of truth better than attempts to squelch the televangelist would do. "Instead of McVety’s views on homosexuality being confined to a relatively small audience of like-minded people, they are now making national headlines," Kline noted. "And as much as the politically correct crowd would like you to think that there’s such a thing as a reasonable limit on free speech, this is simply not the case."
Kilian Melloy reviews media, conducts interviews, and writes commentary for EDGEBoston, where he also serves as Assistant Arts Editor.

No comments:

Post a Comment