AFTAH President LaBarbera Wins Appeal to Enter Canada, Gives Speech at Saskatchewan Pro-Life Event

LaBarbera_Whatcott_Leader-Post

ENTRY BAN LIFTED: Regina, Saskatchewan Leader Post photo shows AFTAH’s Peter LaBarbera showing reporters his valid passport Friday afternoon after Canadian Border Security Agency officials reversed their decision to deny entry to LaBarbera. At left is Bill Whatcott, Canada’s leading pro-family activist opposing the homosexual agenda. See Leader Post story HERE. Photo: Don Healy

Folks, today I spoke at the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association, as planned–after winning my appeal of Thursday’s Canadian Border Security Agency decision to deny my entry into Canada as a potential violator of the country’s “hate propaganda” law. According to several attendees at the conference, conservative Members of Parliament used their influence to have the entry ban against me lifted. That explains why the reversal of the entry ban was a “done deal” when Canadian pro-family activist Bill Whatcott and I arrived Friday at Regina International Airport Customs to appeal the decision–without us even having to make our case.

The following is an excerpt of an article about the Customs turnaround in the Regina Leader Post [includes the Leader Post’s accompanying video report]. Thank you to the many pro-family advocates from the United States, Canada and other countries who wrote to Canadian government officials to urge that the spurious “hate” ban on my entry be overturned. — Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH

_________________________

Anti-gay advocate LaBarbera says he seeks civil debate

By Ashley Martin and Pamela Cowan, THE LEADER-POST, April 11, 2014

REGINA — Anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera will be speaking at a pro-life conference in Weyburn Saturday after being cleared by Canada Border Services Agency in a hearing Friday afternoon.

The head of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) also plans on visiting the universities in Regina and Saskatoon during his time in Canada.

He was initially denied entry into Canada by customs officials in Regina after his Thursday night flight from Chicago. He said his passport was confiscated on grounds he would violate the Criminal Code of Canada by publicly inciting hatred at a Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association (SPLA) conference in Weyburn.

He appealed the decision, and won, during a hearing at noon on Friday, accompanied by SPLA representative Bill Whatcott, a well-known anti-gay activist.

“(The guards) said quite simply and immediately that the person in charge did not feel they had grounds to apply the hate propaganda law to my appearance,” said LaBarbera following the brief hearing. “That’s gratifying, as always.”

In efforts to bar the speech, a petition by Intolerance Free Weyburn has more than 1,300 signatures.

LaBarbera said he was questioned by customs agents regarding his ideologies, and that his luggage, laptop and cellphone were searched Thursday night. He said it felt like being in North Korea, not Canada.

Though the AFTAH website states it opposes the “radical” and “harmful” agenda of homosexuals, LaBarbera said he does not hate homosexuals. The Southern Poverty Law Centre identifies AFTAH as a hate group.

“We believe homosexual behaviour is immoral but that doesn’t equate with hating people,” LaBarbera said. “Hopefully we can have a civil debate for people who can be willing to disagree without hating the other side, and that’s what we’re all about.”

LaBarbera described Intolerance Free Weyburn as “cowardly” by lobbying the government to block a viewpoint.

“It’s the farthest thing from tolerance that I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Why can’t they just let the pro-life group have their speakers and then they can hold their own event?”

Whatcott had planned to lay the groundwork for an appeal had LaBarbera been sent back.

“The guy is not a threat to Canada,” Whatcott said. “This attack on freedom of speech is a much bigger threat than Peter’s views on moral issues.”

Last year the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously that pamphlets Whatcott had dropped in mailboxes in Regina and Saskatoon in 2001 and 2002 violated the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. The court sided with a 2005 ruling by a human rights tribunal that found Whatcott’s flyers incited hatred against homosexual people.

REGINA — Anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera will be speaking at a pro-life conference in Weyburn Saturday after being cleared by Canada Border Services Agency in a hearing Friday afternoon.

The head of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) also plans on visiting the universities in Regina and Saskatoon during his time in Canada.

He was initially denied entry into Canada by customs officials in Regina after his Thursday night flight from Chicago. He said his passport was confiscated on grounds he would violate the Criminal Code of Canada by publicly inciting hatred at a Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association (SPLA) conference in Weyburn.

He appealed the decision, and won, during a hearing at noon on Friday, accompanied by SPLA representative Bill Whatcott, a well-known anti-gay activist.

“(The guards) said quite simply and immediately that the person in charge did not feel they had grounds to apply the hate propaganda law to my appearance,” said LaBarbera following the brief hearing. “That’s gratifying, as always.”

In efforts to bar the speech, a petition by Intolerance Free Weyburn has more than 1,300 signatures.

LaBarbera said he was questioned by customs agents regarding his ideologies, and that his luggage, laptop and cellphone were searched Thursday night. He said it felt like being in North Korea, not Canada.

Though the AFTAH website states it opposes the “radical” and “harmful” agenda of homosexuals, LaBarbera said he does not hate homosexuals. The Southern Poverty Law Centre identifies AFTAH as a hate group.

“We believe homosexual behaviour is immoral but that doesn’t equate with hating people,” LaBarbera said. “Hopefully we can have a civil debate for people who can be willing to disagree without hating the other side, and that’s what we’re all about.”

LaBarbera described Intolerance Free Weyburn as “cowardly” by lobbying the government to block a viewpoint.

“It’s the farthest thing from tolerance that I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Why can’t they just let the pro-life group have their speakers and then they can hold their own event?”

Whatcott had planned to lay the groundwork for an appeal had LaBarbera been sent back.

“The guy is not a threat to Canada,” Whatcott said. “This attack on freedom of speech is a much bigger threat than Peter’s views on moral issues.”

Last year the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously that pamphlets Whatcott had dropped in mailboxes in Regina and Saskatoon in 2001 and 2002 violated the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. The court sided with a 2005 ruling by a human rights tribunal that found Whatcott’s flyers incited hatred against homosexual people. [Story continues HERE]

 

This article was posted on Sunday, April 13th, 2014 at 12:38 am and is filed under News. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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