Analysis of the Judge’s 23-page ruling in the Bill Whatcott case: Bill was acquitted – but there are still frightening implications.
Judge’s writing shows how heavily the LGBT movement has taken over Canada’s legal system.
Is this on track to happen in the US and other countries?
December 17, 2021
Last week Toronto Superior Court Judge Robert Goldstein announced in court that he had found pro-family activist Bill Whatcott not guilty of “willful promotion of hatred.” He read aloud some of his reasons from a prepared document. As we mentioned in our report, even though Bill was acquitted, much of what the judge said was quite disturbing. He said that his entire “Reasons for Judgment” document would be available this week. We’ve now received it and here is our reaction and analysis.
At the 2016 Toronto Gay Pride Parade, Bill and some friends dressed up in green “Gay Zombie” costumes, marched in the parade, and passed out flyers to the crowd containing warnings about the dangers of homosexual sex along with religious messages. The Attorney General of Ottawa (“the Crown”) charged that the pamphlet consisted of criminal “hate speech” and was seeking an 18-month prison term for Bill. Luckily, Bill was represented by John Rosen, widely considered the most prominent criminal defense attorney in Canada.
The judge’s ruling capped a grueling eight-day trial in October to determine whether or not the flyer legally constituted “hate speech.”
Not a clear-cut case of guilt, judge concludes, so acquittal was in order
It appears that Judge Goldstein would have preferred an easy verdict against Bill. This reminded us of the lawsuit against Pastor Scott Lively back in 2017. The judge had a strong bias against Lively. But after a long trial, Lively’s Liberty Counsel attorneys had put up such an outstanding argument for acquittal that the judge was compelled to dismiss the case.
In the Whatcott case, Attorney Rosen did a brilliant job of defending Bill from the “hatred” charge, deflecting the vigorous attacks on the flyer’s medical statistics by the Crown’s medical expert, and affirming that the flyer’s religious message fell within traditional Christian understanding. Rosen clearly outclassed the Crown’s prosecutors.
In his decision, Judge Goldstein concluded that this is a “borderline case” – which means that there was not sufficient proof of clear-cut guilt to convict Bill. He said:
I agree with Crown counsel that many people would find the flyer offensive. I also agree that some statements in the flyer are inaccurate and some are misleading … I have a reasonable doubt about whether the flyer promotes hatred for these reasons:
- The flyer has few, if any, of the hallmarks of hate speech; and,
- The flyer is not sufficiently misleading so as to be inflammatory.
The judge also noted that, as Rosen pointed out earlier:
I find it puzzling that if Mr. Whatcott intended to promote hatred, he would have distributed the flyers to the very group he intended to promote hatred against. I cannot imagine an audience less receptive to his communications than the people attending Pride.
In addition, the Crown had insisted that Bill had lied on his application to get into the parade, which they said is proof of his hateful intent. But the judge was compelled to disagree, pointing out that simply lying is not against the law - otherwise a lot of lawyers, journalists, and others would face jail time!
Many very troubling parts in judge’s “reasons”
There are many very troubling parts in the judge’s 23-page “Reasons for Judgment” document.
To start with, the very fact that this exhaustive trial took place at all did not seem to bother the judge. The case was over a one-page flyer that was passed out five years ago. An estimated $1 million had been spent on the trial. Bill faced prison time if convicted. This was not about any actual crime, but about the power of the LGBT movement to stomp out any dissent.
The judge repeatedly characterized Bill’s flyer criticizing the homosexual lifestyle as “offensive,” and made it clear that, “Although I find Mr. Whatcott not guilty, he should not take this result as a vindication or as an endorsement of his views.”
But the judge had no such disdain for the 2016 Pride Parade, which was thoroughly offensive and repulsive by any objective measure. Among other things, it featured naked men marching down the street and standing next to young children.
Instead, Judge Goldstein described the parade as “a significant part of Pride Week, the celebration of the LGBTQ2S+ [sic] community.” He took note of Bill’s outrage at the naked men and the anti-Catholic bigotry in the parade in a detached way without comment:
Mr. Whatcott also posted [on his blog] multiple photographs of naked or nearly-naked Pride-goers. Two of the photographs show Pride-goers alongside children …
Mr. Whatcott used the blog to criticize Pride and all it stands for. For example, he posted a photograph of a group of marchers, the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is, apparently, a satirical organization. “Indulgences” appear to refer to the old Roman Catholic practice of trading absolution of sin for money. One of the marchers had a picture of Christ crucified on his crotch.
Any normal person would be repulsed by this. And in fact, marching naked in the street is illegal even in Toronto. Unfortunately, Judge Goldstein reflects the toxic attitude that has permeated virtually the entire Canadian legal system and political process. He apparently agrees that a city-wide "celebration" of this perversion is perfectly acceptable and worthy of protection.
Goldstein characterizes the flyer’s statement that “the gay lifestyle leads to death” as an “obvious lie.” Claiming that homosexual behavior is not unhealthy is a talking point of the pro-LGBT medical community. However, over several paragraphs Goldstein also outlines a long list of deadly diseases connected to homosexual activity (and seen disproportionately among homosexuals) which were brought up in the testimony and cross-examination. That seems to completely undermine his objection to Bill’s statement. The fact that vaccines or drugs now exist that may offer some protection does not negate the problem.
How does Canadian law define the promotion of hate speech? Judge Goldstein uses several pages to discuss a long litany of Canadian “case law” – rulings by judges in other cases which are used as “legal” precedent – that comprehensively define hate speech and the promotion of hatred. This is all quite unfamiliar and frightening to those who are used to the First Amendment in the United States. Those pernicious concepts have clearly become entrenched in Canadian law, and Goldstein seems quite at home with that. It’s clear that Bill was able to get through that terrible maze only through Rosen’s extraordinary legal skills.
The judge mentions that when Bill was taken into custody by the Toronto Police in 2018 the police “took a statement from him” and “interviewed him.” The judge should be a little more honest about that. It was in fact a grueling, two-hour interrogation where they tried to coerce him and trick him into saying something they could call a lie, etc. (We’ve seen the video of it!)
The judge makes this absurd claim about Bill’s belief system, which is completely uncalled for:
It is very clear that he opposes the extension of legal rights to gay people. It is also clear that he decries the political culture that led Canada to extend legal rights to gay people.
This is also right out of the LGBT propaganda talking points. Bill has never said or believed that “gay people” should not have the same legal rights as everyone else. He is (as many are) opposed to the creation of new laws – such as “gay marriage” and “sexual-orientation and gender identity” laws – that force the rest of the population to cater to the peculiar perversions of the LGBT lifestyle.
The fact that Bill was acquitted of this ridiculous charge is a blessing, for sure. If this incident had happened a few miles south – in the United States (and most other places in the world) – it would have been ignored. He probably would have been banned from future “Pride” parades by the organizers. There surely would have been a big legal uproar over the naked marchers in the “Pride” parade.
But in Canada the LGBT movement has achieved its goals at a much faster pace. Their ideology has taken over the legal and political systems. Is this where the US and other countries are headed? It looks that way. It’s certainly where the radicals are putting a tremendous amount of energy.
Even though they weren’t able to convict Bill, they were able to put him through a punishing multi-year ordeal with his arrest, some subsequent days in jail, and the trial – all of which disrupted his life considerably.
Finally - and maybe most frightening - one can see from his document that Judge Goldstein, who appears to be otherwise intelligent and somewhat level-headed, has pretty thoroughly bought into the bizarre and destructive LGBT ideology. The Canadians certainly have their work cut out for them to turn this around!
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