Whatcott hearing at BC Human Rights Tribunal

Day 2: Oger's complaint continues; then Bill's eloquent testimony

Two completely different worldviews. Judges abruptly cut short cross-examination of Oger by Whatcott’s attorney.

Plus photos & video interview.

by Amy Contrada
December 12, 2018

Morning session

The cross-examination of biological male transgender (“male-to-female”) complainant Ronan “Morgane” Oger, which had begun the previous day, was concluded in the morning session.

Bill Whatcott’s attorney, Dr. Charles Lugosi, asked Oger about the Biblical passages quoted by Whatcott throughout the flyer. Were these Bible passages in themselves objectionable to Oger?

ALT TEXT Bill (right) and his lawyer, Dr. Charles Lugosi, sit in a coffee shop after a grueling day before the Tribunal. Dr. Lugosi is really wonderful!

Oger answered that the Bible is "the foundational text for one of many faiths in Canada, that someone wrote it thousands of years ago, and in its historical context it’s not objectionable." Dr. Lugosi then asked Oger if he meant that the Bible passage is objectionable in the context of the modern world. Oger’s attorney objected and tried to halt this line of questioning. But Lugosi said he should be allowed to try to determine exactly what part of Whatcott’s flyer “he” (Oger) found objectionable.

This use of the pronoun “he” earned Lugosi yet another reprimand from the panel chair for misgendering Oger. The attorney was reminded once again that he must address Oger as Ms./she/her. Lugosi answered “I’m not used to this New World we’re living in.” The slip was inadvertent, he said in apology.

(Note: This “New World” also dismisses birth certificates as fiction or arbitrary. In Lugosi’s previous day’s cross-examination of Oger, he was not allowed to ask about Oger’s French birth certificate. It was private information “irrelevant” to the case, the judges ruled.)

Oger then said what was offensive about the Bible quote was that it was “put it in the middle of a hate tract” to justify discrimination. He added that Whatcott using any belief he has to justify “hatred” –  “whether ‘air quotes’ science, or ‘air quotes’ Christianity” – is wrong. Whatcott is using the Bible to buttress his belief, to state it as a truth, to prohibit Oger from taking part in democracy. "The state recognizes me as female. That is the truth. There is no proof that my DNA will always be male. He [Whatcott] does not know that."

Oger admitted that no one could know whether the flyer helped or hurt him in the election. In fact, his supporters, in reposting it, got a lot of sympathetic support for Oger in the election.

Dr. Lugosi noted that there was nothing in the flyer that constituted a threat. Oger disagreed, saying, “I’m a reasonable person and I see it as a threat.” Oger said the flyer does not incite violence, but incites hatred which in turn incites violence. He said it could influence people on the fringe who might be motivated to do harm to him or other transgender people. Lugosi clarified that was just speculation and asked if Oger could point to one word that constituted a threat, but no word was cited.

Oger then cited negative comments directed at him online. He singled out LifeSiteNews’ “positive” coverage of Whatcott, and was unhappy about a new alliance of B.C. Christians concerned about transgender activism (the West Coast Christian Accord). He said other people in the room had said hateful things about him.

Oger believes Whatcott transgressed the law and violated his (Oger’s) rights, so Whatcott is getting what he deserves (being brought before the Tribunal).

Oger emphasized that he may not be criticized as transgender (even though he was in the political arena as a candidate) because he belongs to a “protected group” (gender identity or expression) that cannot be discriminated against according to the law. He says political messages may be allowed within the law, but only if they are without illegal discrimination. He said Whatcott can tell people to not vote for Oger, but NOT on the basis of “gender identity” as that is a protected group in the law.

Dr. Lugosi summarized Oger's position: He gets to be in a “safe zone” (unlike other candidates).

Lugosi asked if Oger agrees that something can be legal but not necessarily moral. And if so, does Whatcott have the right to speak against what he believes is an immoral law? Isn’t that sort of debate necessary for a healthy democracy? Oger did not know how to answer that, and came back to saying yes, but “within the confines of the law.” In other words, Oger as a transgender has a special right to protection, not to be offended or criticized. “My gender identity is who I am” so cannot be questioned or challenged (even in the political context as a candidate).

Lugosi wrapped up the Oger testimony phase with this: The complainant is an activist involved in promoting transgender rights laws and policies. He has tried to seek out others he saw as violators. This is not a simple case of discrimination but an ongoing political/legal campaign to enforce transgender rights laws and stifle debate. This case is just part of a campaign on many fronts.

Lugosi was not allowed to describe the context further (though the Human Rights Code on publications specifically includes context as a determining factor). He then objected to the abrupt curtailment of his cross-examination of Oger.

Oger’s attorney was then allowed to interject a story of a totally unrelated incident of a person who physically threatened Oger at a rally, but which had nothing to do with Whatcott or his flyer.

Afternoon session

The afternoon session was Whatcott's testimony and cross-examination. It began with one of the judges, Diana Juricevic, describing the Tribunal as a place for vulnerable people to come for support. She said it’s a “safe place.” She therefore instructed Whatcott to remove his offensive and improper T-shirt. It showed an image of Oger on the front and read, “Mr. Oger, no matter how you use the state to silence your critics, you are still a guy.” And on the back, “Male and female he created them. – Genesis 5:2” The judge warned him that if he didn’t remove the shirt, it would mean a more severe cost assessed against him. (This implied it was already settled that he would be found guilty.) Bill refused to remove his shirt, saying the Tribunal was an offence to justice already by its very existence!

ALT TEXT Bill Whatcott, wearing his shirt, standing just outside the hearing room as an LGBT activist from the audience walks by with her very political shirt - but which was not deemed to be offensive or improper.
ALT TEXT The front of Bill's shirt ...
ALT TEXT ... and the back

Whatcott’s testimony was eloquent and from the heart. He has a wry sense of humor which was totally lost on his dour opponents.

Bill began by telling his life story. He was an atheist street kid from a broken home, a petty criminal, a drug addict, and a (hetero) sexual libertine who eventually found Jesus. He became a nurse and provided home health care to hundreds of AIDS patients in Toronto’s “gay” district. He became a lay preacher and activist focused at first on pro-life issues. Through his work as a nurse, he saw the importance of the lies being told to homosexuals: that they could stay healthy if they just used condoms. He saw the danger to society in the normalization of homosexuality — and more recently, transgenderism. He believes in speaking the truth about these lifestyles.

As he told the story of why he wrote the flyer opposing Oger in the Vancouver Parliamentary district, he was again reprimanded for improperly referring to Oger as a man. The judge said he was given instructions about this before the proceedings and is ignoring them. She would not warn him again, but his transgression will count against him in their ruling. Whatcott responded by saying that the whole proceeding was a charade.

Whatcott explained that Oger’s election to office would mean militant promotion of transgender and “human rights” legislation that would be harmful to society. It would mean an attack on his right to free speech to say what is true. No one should be forced to use fake pronouns, which is what this Human Rights Tribunal is guilty of forcing on British Columbia.

Oger had stated his policy positions in the media. Especially concerning for Whatcott was Oger’s belief that parents should lose their children if they don’t “drink the gender Kool-Aid” – meaning accept the SOGI (sexual orientation-gender identity) school curriculum and related government dictates. As a parent and taxpayer, Whatcott wanted to publicly oppose this. Lots of people in the Tribunal hearing are “drinking the gender Kool-Aid” too, he said.

Everyone was pretending Oger was a woman during the election. Whatcott stated the truth, that Oger is a biological male and his party (NDP) was promoting a bad agenda. He saw an “air of nonreality harmful to the social order.” It’s immoral to pass oneself off as a woman when you’re not, or to force this idea in the schools. And if people didn’t agree with him, they could simply recycle his flyer.

While there already was a law protecting transgender rights, if Oger were to be elected things would get worse. It would mean SOGI policies and the “the gender falsehood narrative” and political correctness would become entrenched, free speech in elections would die. He told the Tribunal: “You guys will not succeed in shutting me up.”

Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s moral. Debate is necessary, he said.

He wasn’t worried about the complainant’s (Oger’s) feelings when he published the flyer. “He’s a big boy” and his supposed hurt reaction was a bit overplayed.

“Feelings have to be subservient to what’s true. I don’t run to the Human Rights Tribunal when someone calls me Hitler.” The state should stay out of politics unless there’s real advocacy of violence. There was no call to violence or hatred in his flyer. He said he definitely does not “hate” the plaintiff, just doesn’t want him to be elected to office.

Why does he use Bible quotes? He answered, "There’s no reason atheists should rule the day. God created us male and female. Gender is God-given and immutable. It’s important to bring this perspective to Canada because there’s so much gender confusion now." This issue must be open to debate.

Whatcott quoted John 1:14 in the flyer. He notes he was himself "disordered" and needed redemption. And there are civil servants who need the Good News.

Is transgender identity a sin? He said, "It’s certainly against God’s creation, in need of God’s grace. It is disorder, and trans individuals embrace a falsehood."

He was asked to describe his own agenda: “I want Canada to repent and get back to God. I don’t think there should be kangaroo tribunals to force people” to accept transgenderism. Politically, he would advocate bringing the Bible back to schools, making sodomy illegal again (closing bathhouses, shutting down sodomy in public parks), shutting abortion clinics, and making Gay Pride days into Jesus days. Get the gender confusion out of the schools. Don’t bully people and tell them they have to believe “gender” nonsense.

"Don’t go out for coffee with Bill Whatcott if you don’t like him telling the truth," he said.

To show respect to transgender-identifying persons, tell them the truth. “I can have a lot of sympathy but I want to know truth. Truth brings dignity.”

Regarding the order of this Tribunal on how to address the transgender plaintiff Oger: It’s not practical, and to no good purpose. “My head’s hard-wired to reality.” If a “furry” [a person who dresses in an animal costume] says it’s his right to be a cat and says, “Meow at me!” that's absurd. What if the law requires you to address a “transwoman” (a biological male) as Ms./she/her? … That too is absurd.

“Soviet dissidents sat for years in prison for refusing to follow the party line. I’m prepared to do that if I have to. Reality is on my side. History will prove me right.”

God’s truth is reality. It’s a slippery slope to ban false narratives, he said. He doesn’t want to shut others up. “I don’t need the Human Rights Tribunal to protect me from the Flat Earth Society. I don’t want to outlaw Mr. Oger from saying, ‘I’m a woman.’ But can say there’s only two genders.”

"Oger has said on social media that 'Christianity is a death cult.' He has called Christians 'assholes.' “But I will not run to the Human Rights Tribunal” about his nasty comments. “He described me as a Christian jihadist. That should get me a few thousand discounted on my fine.” In other words, Oger is a fairly tough activist, and is used to engaging the public. "But he wants to destroy you if you disagree with him."

Judge Devyn Cousineau interrupted: “You can’t cast aspersions on Ms. Oger!” That comment has nothing to do with the question before the Tribunal, she said.

Whatcott’s concluding thoughts: "The truth matters. Biology matters for 'gender' politics. There should be freedom for me to speak what I believe is the truth. My flyer was not an attack on an individual. The issue is much bigger than two people before the Tribunal."

Will this sort of flyer ever be allowed in Canada again?

Oger's attorney basically passed on her opportunity to cross-examine Whatcott. She asked the judges to add his new flyer (passed out on sidewalk in recent days) as more evidence against him. She asked Bill why he had once called himself a jihadist. He explained that calling himself a "jihadist for Jesus" was meant to be humorous (since he was a peaceful crusader); he was hardly saying he was like ISIS! She had no other questions.

VIDEO: Bill Whatcott & Paul Fromm of the Canadian Association for Free Expression (CAFE) analyze Day 2 of the Tribunal hearing

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