QUEBEC CITY—The Quebec government has spearheaded a media campaign to raise awareness about homophobia in the province. Two ads currently running depict everyday scenarios that do not explicitly address sexual orientation, until the final moment when viewers may be caught off-guard by a same-sex couple kissing. Viewers are then asked, “Does this change the way you thought 20 seconds ago?”
The five-year TV, radio and web campaign is meant to be positive and get people questioning how open-minded they really are, reported The Globe and Mail.
Prior to the campaign, the provincial government commissioned a survey to assess the acceptance of sexual diversity. Results found that out of 800 Quebecers surveyed, 90 per cent identified themselves as being open to sexual diversity, yet only 40 per cent felt comfortable seeing a samesex couple showing affection in public. The government will run a second survey after the campaign has ended to see if there has been a shift in perceptions.
Yukon school’s controversial policy on homosexuality making waves in community
Anti-gay crusader violates human rights
OTTAWA— In a 6-0 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled a Saskatchewan crusader violated Saskatchewan’s Human Rights Code when he distributed anti-gay pamphlets in 2000 and 2001.
The high court also refined the definition of hate speech by striking down some language in the provincial code, clearing William Whatcott of any wrongdoing with the other two flyers. The court found the language in the code that defines hate literature as something that “ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of any person” unconstitutional.
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal originally ordered Whatcott to pay a total of $17,500 to the four complainants for the pamphlets that referred to gay men as sodomites and pedophiles, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. The Supreme Court decision means he’ll have to pay one complainant $2,500 and another $5,000.
Whatcott, a born-again Christian, vowed to produce more pamphlets “taking issue” with the Supreme Court’s ruling and spreading his other views.
Outwords is the non-profit organization that publishes the free Outwords magazine of news, analysis and entertainment for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit and queer community and its allies.