Back in 2016 William ‘Bill’ Whatcott, inset, a Canadian evangelist notorious for his anti-LGBTQ activism, infiltrated a Toronto Gay Pride event together with a bunch of cohorts dressed as green zombies. They handed out information packs about the ‘physical and spiritual dangers’ of homosexuality.
What happened next, according to this report, rather surprised the imbecile: a nationwide warrant was issued for his arrest. He said in a message posted on Free North America:
It appears I am facing an indictable charge for ‘Public Incitement of Hatred’. The ‘crime?’ My ministry bringing the Gospel and the truth about homosexuality to Toronto’s … pride parade in 2016.
Whatcott’s lawyer, Charles Lugosi, said his client intends to turn himself in to police in Calgary on Friday. He is accused of distributing 3,000 pamphlets that contained contained what Toronto police call “hateful” content.
In an interview, Whatcott – who described himself in previous court proceedings as a “Christian activist” who formerly “engaged in same-sex sexual activity” – said he does not believe he did anything criminal. He said his distribution of pamphlets should be considered fair criticism of a public event.
I have little enough confidence in the justice system. The judge might look at it, know it’s wrong and convict me anyways. I think that can happen in our courts. I gave out medical information. I made theological arguments that I don’t think homosexuality is a good idea … I don’t believe I committed a criminal offence.
Lugosi, said his client intends to co-operate with police but will challenge the allegation.
Usually, a Canada-wide warrant is issued with somebody alleged to have committed a very serious crime, like murder. Normally, with something like this, it’s never done. It’s abnormal.
Pride Toronto Executive Director Olivia Nuamah said it’s a “positive” step that an arrest has been made.
LGBTQ hate crime has gone up significantly this year. Just in general, the arrest and prosecution rates are incredibly low … It’s important that the rates of both arrest and prosecutions go up significantly.
After the 2016 Toronto Pride Parade, Whatcott was the subject of a $104-million class-action lawsuit alleging hate speech directed at the LGBTQ community. In a March 2017 ruling from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the judge dismissed the class-action suit but said that the people who it the suit could pursue individual civil lawsuits against Whatcott.
Jeremy Dias, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, said police need to do more to discourage anti-LGBTQ activists from disrupting Pride festivities. Dias, who attended the 2016 parade, said the pamphlets were “reprehensible.”
We really need police services to take these actions more seriously. If you’re breaking the law and conducting hate speech, then that’s a problem … It should be prosecuted, period. No questions asked.
George Smitherman, who was the first openly gay member of the Ontario cabinet, says in this report that he’s glad to see Toronto police bringing charges against Whatcott.
It sounds like what I would characterise as a great step in further exposing this hate-spewer for what he truly is.
Smitherman, who is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against Whatcott for distributing literature at the 2016 parade, says he was disgusted by the flyers when he saw them.
The flyers Whatcott and others distributed contained a photo of anal warts and a man covered in AIDS-related lesions, claiming that the “gay zombies” were concerned for the health of homosexuals. The flyers said:
Natural law is clear, homosexuality is incompatible with human nature. Disease, death and confusion are the sad and sordid realities of the homosexual lifestyle.
I can see where it would piss off some thin-skinned homosexuals, but it was definitely no call to genocide or violence.
Whatcott has engaged in public anti-LGBTQ demonstrations across Canada for decades. In 2013, he lost a Supreme Court appeal of a Saskatchewan human rights tribunal verdict against him for distributing similar flyers.