LaBarbera Returns Safely to U.S. After Arrest and ‘Hate Speech’ Encounters in Canada

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

AFTAH’s Peter LaBarbera is hand-cuffed and arrested at the University of Regina–for refusing to abandon a protest led by Canadian pro-life/pro-family advocate Bill Whatcott.

AFTAH Canada Controversy in the News: AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera has left Canada and is now safely back in Chicago. There has been a lot of media coverage of his arrest Monday by Canadian police–as well as the previous controversy surrounding LaBarbera’s near-denial of entry into Canada on the basis that he would violate Canada’s “Hate Propaganda Law.” Here are a few stories:

LifeSiteNews: “American pro-family activist LaBarbera arrested in Canada” [click HERE]

CBC: “U.S. Anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera arrested in Regina” [click HERE]

Regina [Saskatchewan Leader-Post: “Whatcott, LaBarbera arrested on U of R campus (with video)” [click HERE]

Barbwire.com: “U.S. Christian Peter LaBarbera arrested in Canada” [click HERE]

Montreal Gazette: “Anti-gay American speaker allowed entry into Canada after appeal” [click HERE]

Regina Leader-Post: “Anti-gay activist LaBarbera says he seeks civil debate” (with video)  [click HERE]

WND.com: “Christian speaker’s entrance to Canada threatened” [click HERE]

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Dear AFTAH Readers,

I’m back home in the Land of the Free (well, at least we’re freer than Canada!)…Just a quick note here to let you know that I’m OK after being arrested in Saskatchewan, Canada, for standing up for free speech at a public university (U. of Regina) with Canadian pro-family/pro-life hero Bill Whatcott.

I will have an in-depth report tomorrow, but here are some key facts. I arrived home in Chicago late last night after cutting my week-long visit to Canada short to avoid a second hearing with Canadian Border Service agents on whether I could stay in the country.

The “Pro-Gay Thought Police” seemed to follow me wherever I went in Canada. When I entered the country through Regina [Saskatchewan] Airport last Thursday around 10:00 PM, I was detained for more than three hours  as Border Security agents rifled through my luggage, laptop–and even my cell phone–searching for material that would violate Canada’s “Hate Propaganda” law. I hope that most Americans would be as shocked as I was to see government bureaucrats searching through my personal items for evidence of ideas and advocacy it wants to ban (in this case Judeo-Christian morality opposed to homosexual sin).

After the long wait and further questions (including reviewing the AFTAH website), I was formally denied entry into Canada, but elected to appeal the decision with the help of a Canadian attorney. The next day, as Whatcott and I went to the Border Security office at the airport prepared to make our appeal, we quickly discovered that the decision to overturn my entry ban was a done deal. Later we learned that political pressure had been brought to bear on Customs by some conservative Members of Parliament.

A huge THANK YOU to all who prayed for me and offered help to get me into Canada so I could honor my speaking commitment and thwart the arrogant political bullying of leftists who attempted to decide for EVERYONE who could speak at the pro-life event!

Once approved to enter Canada. I stood outside the airport before an array of Canadian reporters and showed them my passport allowing me to stay in Canada until Thursday, April 17 (tomorrow), as long as I did not violate any Canadian laws.

Pro-Life Hero Supports AFTAH

Linda Gibbons, a hero of the pro-life movement who has spent many months serving prison sentences as a result of her sacrificial efforts to save the unborn, championed AFTAH's work against the homosexual agenda.

Linda Gibbons, a hero of the pro-life movement who has spent many months serving prison sentences as a result of her sacrificial efforts to save the unborn, championed AFTAH’s work against the homosexual agenda.

I gave my speech at the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association and it was well-received, except by a group of protesters outside with signs–who were graciously allowed to attend the conference by SPLA organizers despite their previous attempt to block me as a speaker.

Many attendees expressed their gratitude at being able to hear a presentation on the homosexual agenda, and I was thrilled to have the support of Canadian pro-life hero Linda Gibbons, who has spent many months in jail for refusing to honor “bubble zone” speech codes outside abortion mills. I stressed that Christians need to be as principled against the homosexual activist agenda–including homosexual “marriage”–as they are in defending unborn life.

Arrested at U. of Regina
On Monday, I ventured out with Bill Whatcott to be part of his peaceful pro-life and anti-homosexual-agenda protest at the University of Regina. I brought along an AFTAH flier titled,’ “Is All Love ‘Equal’?” to educate students on the disproportionate health risks of LGBT behaviors (e.g., “The incidence of anal cancer is approximately 80 times that of the general population.”–HIV Essentials).

Immediately upon entering the campus, we were informed by a U.-Regina official that we were not welcome and ordered to leave. Bill responded that he had a right to be at the public campus under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that he would not leave. Whatcott’s right to protest at college campuses had already been affirmed twice by Canadian courts.

Two hours later, police arrived to inform Whatcott that if he did vacate the premises, he would be arrested. Ten minutes after that, Bill and I were being led away by police in hand-cuffs. I felt someone needed to join Bill in standing up for the simple right to speak in defense of biblical truth at a publicly-funded university. We were charged at first with trespassing but later it was changed to “mischief.”

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LaBarbera Denied Entry into Canada for Pro-Family Speech – Appeals Decision Today – Responds to Letter to Catholics from Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan

Friday, April 11th, 2014
Chris Brookes of "Intolerance Free Weyburn" and his wife led a campaign to lobby Canadian government officials to deny AFTAH president Peter LaBarbera entry into Canada. On Thursday evening, Canadian customs officials issued a preliminary denial of entry to LaBarbera, who is scheduled to give a speech at a pro-life conference in Saskatchewan Saturday.

Will ‘Intolerance’ Prevail in Canada? Chris Brookes of “Intolerance Free Weyburn” and his wife led a campaign to lobby Canadian government officials to block AFTAH president Peter LaBarbera’s entry into Canada. On Thursday evening, Canadian customs officials issued a preliminary denial of entry to LaBarbera, who is scheduled to give a speech at a pro-life conference in Weyburn, Saskatchewan Saturday. LaBarbera is appealing the decision today. Photo: Chris Brookes’ Twitter account.

[UPDATE FROM PETER LaBARBERA: Yesterday I wrote the reply below to Regina, Saskatchewan Archbishop Daniel Bohan’s statement about my scheduled presentation at a pro-life conference in Canada. That evening, I flew from Chicago to Regina. Upon deplaning, as I passed through Customs, I was delayed for further questioning by an official with the Canada Border Services Agency. Obviously, I had been flagged as a result of a campaign by the leftist group “Intolerance Free Weyburn,” which is specifically lobbying the Canadian government to deny my entry into Canada as the alleged purveyor of “hate'” [See this AFTAH report on their lobby effort to deny me entry into Canada, and this previous report on the group’s attempt to have me removed as a speaker at the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association (SPLA) conference April 11-12.]

After questioning me about the purpose of my scheduled presentation at the SPLA event; rifling through my luggage, which contained numerous books and literature related to homosexuality (pro and con); examining the contents of my laptop and my cell phone; playing a DVD of my speech Wednesday at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio; and critically viewing AFTAH’s website–a preliminary decision was made to deny my entrance into Canada on the basis that my speech at the SPLA would violate Canada’s “Hate Propaganda” law (essentially the potential for “public incitement of hatred” against a group of people based on their “sexual orientation”). The Orwellian experience at Customs dragged on for more than three hours as a formal document was issued outlining my denial of entry under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (citing the Hate Propaganda code). Finally, after 1:00 A.M., I was released pending my appeal of the decision today (Friday). My passport was seized until I arrive back at Customs today at noon for my appeal before a “Minister’s Delegate Review.”– Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH] 

NOTE: We have posted letters supportive of LaBarbera speaking at the pro-life conference in Saskatchewan by American pro-life/pro-family advocates Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League [click HERE] and Mary Anne Hackett of Catholic Citizens of Illinois [click HERE]. We will try to post some of the other letters of support–including one from a homosexual man in the U.K.–as soon as possible.]

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The following is the April 10 reply by Peter LaBarbera, President of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), to a letter to Catholics by Archbishop Daniel Bohan, Archdiocese of Regina:

I believe that Archbishop Bohan felt the need to issue a letter that specifically mentions me due to the local controversy that has been instigated by a liberal group that, ironically, has spread much false and derogatory information about me. Many Catholic leaders in the United States, including pro-life hero Joe Scheidler of Pro-Life Action League, have come to my defense–and are deeply opposed to Intolerance Free Weyburn’s (intolerant) efforts to “ban” me from speaking in Canada. I have great respect for the full array of Catholic instuction on the issue of homosexuality, and quote from Catholic teachings all the time. I wish more Catholics knew and honored these teachings–including that no faithful Catholic can support same-sex “marriage” or laws and policies putting adoption by homosexual-led households on a par with adoption by mother-father households.

As an evangelical Christian, I believe that all people, including homosexuals, must be treated with respect and the grace of Christ. As a sinner myself, I am no “better” than the man or woman engaged in homosexual sin. We all need the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. I adhere to the universal philosophy shared by so many who follow Christ: “Love the sinner. Hate the sin,” In fact, if I truly lacked compassion and hated homosexuals as my detractors falsely and maliciously claim, I would not have been invited to speak by the leaders of the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association. Lastly, it has become clear in recent years that OPPONENTS of the homosexual activist agenda have become frequent victims of “unjust discrimination.” In fact, in the lead up to the SPLA convention, one of Archbishop Bohan’s own parishioners, Bill Whatcott, was turned away from service by the owner of Southeastern Computer Solutions in Weyburn–because Whatcott adheres to the historic Judeo-Christian moral understanding of homosexual acts as sinful. Such anti-Christian bigotry and discrimination will be one of the topics of my talk Saturday.

Sincerely in Christ

Peter LaBarbera

President,

Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH.org)

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The following is the letter sent out by Archbishop Daniel Bohan, Archdiocese of Regina:

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Leftists Cite SPLC in Campaign to Block Peter LaBarbera’s Entry into Canada

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Crude effort to block pro-family speech in Canada not unlike GLAAD/SPLC crusade to censor pro-family voices opposed to homosexuality in media

“I would like for him to be turned away from our border….Peter LaBarbera should not be allowed to enter our country. His sole purpose of entering Canada is to spread his message of hate and intolerance.”–Bailey Ashton Brookes, Intolerance Free Weyburn, in a public letter to Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, Steven Blaney

Canadian pro-life and pro-family activist Bill Whatcott poses for photo with anti-"intolerance" activist Brookes, who is working to keep AFTAH's Peter LaBarbera out of Canada.

“Tolerance,” Canadian Style: Canadian pro-life and pro-family activist Bill Whatcott poses for photo with adversary and anti-“intolerance” activist Bailey Ashton Brookes, who is lobbying the State to keep AFTAH’s Peter LaBarbera out of Saskatchewan, Canada, where he is scheduled to give a talk Oct. 11-12.

By Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH

Folks, below is the verbatim copy of a Facebook letter by “Intolerance Free Weyburn” [Saskatchewan] activist Bailey Ashton Brookes. She is urging others to write Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, to bar my entry into Canada, where I am scheduled as a speaker at the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association (SPLA) conference in Weyburn, October 11-12. [see original AFTAH story HERE; see letters by Joe Scheidler and Mary Anne Hackett defending me as a speaker].

“I would like for him to be turned away from our border,” Brookes writes.

Despite the Left’s history of censorship and totalitarianism, I am a bit taken aback to be the target of such an outrageous attempt to intimidate SPLA’s leaders into jettisoning me as a speaker–and then lobbying the State to ban me as a supposed purveyor of “hate.”

It’s one thing to write and poke fun at the “pro-Gay Thought Police,” and quite another to be in its crosshairs.

Here we have an object lesson on the inevitable end-result of political correctness–in the form of leftist “thought control” fused with State power. For years now, the far-left-biased Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has maliciously smeared my group, AFTAH, as well as dozens of other pro-family organizations like American Family Association and Family Research Council as “hate groups.” Then fellow travelers on the Left, led by LGBT activists, circulate the SPLC’s lie as if it is some kind of authoritative evidence that AFTAH and this writer are truly “hateful.”

In Canada, bereft of a First Amendment, mischievous “progressives” can cause more trouble faster than in the U.S., by citing legal bans on “hate speech” that have been upheld by the country’s highest court. Canadian Bill Whatcott, a brave pro-life and pro-family activist who will be speaking at the conference  next week, has been victimized by such “hate speech” prosecutions. So have many good Canadians like Stephen Boissoin, who have been dragged through preposterous “human rights tribunals” merely because they voiced opposition to the Sin of Sodom.

SPLC smears go worldwide

Remember this leftist brick attack on AFTAH's banquet in 2011? The Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network (GLN) refused to condemn it--demonstrating actual hate. Yet the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) never labelled GLN--or any homosexual organization--a "hate group."

SPLC’s One-Sided “Hate” Scam: Remember this leftist brick attack on AFTAH’s banquet in 2011? The Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network (GLN) publicly refused to condemn it–demonstrating actual hatred. Yet the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has never labelled GLN–or any homosexual organization–a “hate group,” while slandering dozens of pro-family organizations like AFTAH with that false smear. The words on the paver brick thrown through the glass doors of the Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, IL, refer to AFTAH banquet speaker and honoree Scott Lively.

The SPLC’s corruption and radical pro-homosexual bias is illustrated by the fact that it has never designated an LGBT organization as a “hate group.” In fact, the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network (GLN), which took great pride in “reporting” AFTAH to the SPLC as a potential “hate group,” later publicly refused to condemn a brick attack against the school, Christian Liberty Academy, that hosted our 2011 banquet! [See AFTAH original story on the pro-homosexual brick attack.]

That’s real hate as opposed to ideologically-defined “hate.” Yet the SPLC has yet to designate GLN as a “hate group.” The good news is that many Americans and pundits finally are seeing through the SPLC’s “hate” scam.

Most activists on the Left are not as brazen as Ms. Brookes and her husband in pressing the censor card, but these two “morality-phobic” individuals are merely applying a more extreme and crass version of the pro-LGBT Left’s hardball tactics. Homosexual activist groups like GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)–working with others like the SPLC–continually and falsely equate opposition to homosexuality with “hate.” They also throw around the ominous-sounding charge of “homophobia”–implying that their opponents are filled with irrational fear as opposed to disagreeing with immoral and unhealthy sexual behavior.

Then this Coalition on the Left pressures the media not to give a voice to the haters, homophobes and bigots. In recent years, they have expanded their crusade to include the enemy of “religious-based bigotry.” In their pride, they possess little regard for the sincerity and motives of Christians and others who genuinely seek to defend God’s moral order (“righteousness” in the Bible)–while holding out the hope of healthy change as personified by the many men and women who have left homosexuality (“gayness”) behind.

Since these illogical arguments and self-serving tactics can easily be defeated by pro-family advocates, pro-LGBT militants would rather just shut groups like AFTAH down in the Public Square. Endlessly playing their “anti-hate” card, they plead with the media to stop including the “other side” in their stories–stoking the ridiculous notion that no legitimate opposition to homosexualism (“gay rights”) exists. I’m afraid this is how countless cowed and ill-informed Western journalists think about homosexuality today. The arrogance and injustice of deciding for everyone what supposedly constitutes “hate,” “intolerance” and appropriate arguments in this Culture War debate apparently is lost on these liberal Speech Police and their media accomplices.

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