A Kamloops (British Columbia) City Council member will pay a hefty fine and also apologize for comments he made about homosexuality at a public meeting last summer. Those comments by the local politician led to a complaint being lodged with Canada’s Human Rights Commission and could have proceeded to a tribunal.
LifeSite News reports that John DeCicco, who is Catholic, made the remarks at a Kamloops City Council meeting in June of last year and repeated them to the media afterward, saying that homosexual acts were "not normal and not natural." A homosexual activist couple filed the human rights complaint against him in August.
DeCicco has now decided to accept a $1,000 fine and make a statement of apology in order to avoid a Human Rights Tribunal hearing. However, the Catholic city official says his opinion has not changed.
Americans for Truth president Peter LaBarbera says his group is warning Christians in the United States that they may face a choice similar to the one DeCicco faced if they allow hate crimes legislation to supplant the First Amendment. "We’re saying to American pastors and American politicians, ’What would you do if you were fined a thousand dollars for saying that homosexual behavior is not normal and is not natural ?’" LaBarbera notes.
What happened to the Canadian city councillor in this instance "is an incredible outrage," the Americans for Truth spokesman asserts. "Free speech," he laments, "is going the way of the dinosaur in Canada, it seems."
U.S. Christians need to take note of how laws in Canada are forcing its citizens to suppress their own speech, LaBarbera says. Such self-censorship puts the opportunity to speak the much-needed truth about homosexuality in danger of dying out altogether, he warns.
"When you have all the burdens of having to go before a tribunal and having to issue a public apology and endure public humiliation just for voicing your beliefs, then there is no longer freedom in that country," the pro-family advocate observes. "We hope and pray that this never happens in the United States of America," he says.
LaBarbera advises believers in the U.S. against self-censoring their speech as he believes many in Canada are choosing to do. Christians, he contends, must not let the truth die out by allowing themselves to be silenced.