Canadian Judge Finds LaBarbera, Whatcott Not Guilty of ‘Mischief’ Charge for Protesting at University of Regina
Saskatchewan Provincial Court Judge Marylynne Beaton ruled yesterday that AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera and Canadian pro-family advocate Bill Whatcott are not guilty of criminal “mischief” after being arrested and jailed April 14, 2014 after peacefully protesting and disseminating factual literature at the University of Regina–against the wishes of school administrators.
In the 27-page decision, available HERE, Judge Beaton relied heavily on Whatcott’s claim under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms that he had a right to disseminate his religious views–and rejected the notion put forth by the prosecution that the two pro-family activists disrupted the educational mission of U-Regina.
Below is YouTube of a Regina Leader Post audio-story with Whatcott’s reaction to the decision, and beneath that the print report by the Leader-Post. You can go to Whatcott’s website HERE, and beneath that an excerpt the Leader-Post’s story on the decision.
Said LaBarbera in response to the ruling:
More coming from AFTAH on this story; here is Whatcott’s reaction [order his book “Born in a Graveyard” HERE]:
Whatcott, LaBarbera Found Not Guilty
By Ashley Martin, The Leader-Post
Anti-gay activists Bill Whatcott and Peter LaBarbera were found not guilty of mischief in Regina Provincial Court on Monday.
Whatcott uttered “thank the Lord” after Judge Marylynne Beaton delivered her verdict.
“I’m very happy with the judge’s decision … and of course I believe she’s correct,” Whatcott told reporters.
LaBarbera, who lives in Illinois and heads Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, was not present, but “I’m sure he’ll be relieved,” said Whatcott.
LaBarbera and Whatcott were charged with mischief on April 14, after distributing flyers and displaying placards with pro-life and anti-gay messages at the University of Regina campus. They were asked to leave, refused and were arrested.
At the time, U of R provost Thomas Chase called the materials “graphic” and “disturbing.”
But “the validity of (their) beliefs are not in issue,” Beaton wrote in her decision.
“I find that the purpose of (their) attending the University of Regina was to communicate information and their actions were passive and non-aggressive,” Beaton wrote. “The university’s response was disproportionate to the peaceful distribution of flyers.”
Whatcott said he plans to return to the U of R in January — “you can count on that, unless I get hit by a car” — with a “flyer special for this occasion.” He aims to visit the University of Calgary campus on Saturday.
If and when he returns to the U of R, the members of UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity will be ready for him, said board vice-chair Lisa Phillipson.
“We’ll probably try to track him down wherever he is on campus specifically and be around to counteract his negativity with some positivity,” said Phillipson.
[See full article HERE]
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