Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kevin Kindred - Lover of Free Speech and Lover of HRCs

Are They Compatible?

Kevin Kindred is a lawyer in Nova Scotia, who calls himself an activist, and is a Director and spokesman for the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project.

I do not know Kevin Kindred personally, having only come across his opinions in the blogosphere and through an opinion piece that he submitted to the National Post here. His article starts: " I have a lot of love for human rights commissions in Canada. As an activist working toward equality on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, I know the human rights system."

At this point, I thought this was a propaganda piece from Jennifer Lynch, and almost stopped reading. I was ready to label him a wing nut, but read further. Reading to the end and then seeing his comments over on Walker Morrow's new blog here and particularly to this piece here I developed at first a grudging respect, a brief flirtation with Grrrrr, and then concluded that I could get to like this guy, even though we are sexually incompatible (with all due respect to both Kevin and my wife). He writes with respect, and even a touch of humour, even when disagreeing with others, and that gets my attention, and my ear.

It seems here that there is a gay man active among gay people, and interested in promoting equality for gay people in Canadian society. We would probably disagree on the right to marry, because I do not think that is about equality, but this it not a debate at the moment anyway. However, in general, I bet that we are pretty much in agreement about human rights issues for people in Canada. I personally do not separate gay people from non gay people, because in my world, we all deserve to be treated equally. I am a little old school, more Charter of Rights and Freedoms type.

I find it interesting that Kevin Kindred sees Ezra Levant as an enemy. He has definitely been reading propaganda from Jennifer Lynch for bedtime reading. From my viewpoint, Ezra is probably Kevin's best friend in the human rights world, more so than Jennifer. Kevin has stated in Walker's blog comments that "I don’t just take every criticism Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn cook up at face value." There he and I agree. I research them myself, and find that Mark Steyn is a journalist and has only scratched the surface of the problems with the HRCs, though scratch it effectively he does. Ezra is digging much deeper and unearthing more and more junk every day.

Kevin, there will never be equality for gay people in a system that inherently treats the rights of people in a hierarchical manner. If all person's rights are not of equal value, in free speech, employment, housing, including the right to choose whom one employs or rents housing to, based on beliefs and values, then we will never have a society where there will be mutual respect for each other.

I think Kevin Kindred would be an interesting person to have a dialogue with because I am not comfortable with holding a position based on one sided arguments. Having studied several cases in some depth and read what I have tested myself to be very accurate reporting of the same and other cases by Ezra Levant and others, I am pretty sure that Kevin Kindred is blowing smoke when he said in the National Post about Ezra Levant: "He’s using his newfound platform to unfairly attack, ridicule and distort the work of human rights commissions. He won’t stop until there’s nothing left of the system that is so vital in the protection against discrimination." It's this kind of comment that got me asking him in Walker's blog if he wasn't really Jennifer Lynch in drag. He assured me he wasn't, and I believe him.

I would like to hear Kevins Kindred's expansion on Ezra unfairly distorting the work of human rights commissions, and I would like to understand how they are so vital in the protection against discrimination. I don't see it, or believe it, but am open to hearing a dissenting opinion. I have read enough facts from cases to believe that Ezra is speaking the truth, not distorting it. Certainly, there could be more.

On the other hand, I have not read anything that Jennifer Lynch has said lately that leads me to believe that she is doing anything but managing her version of the truth to her own purposes. Take for example the Pearl Eliadis comment distortion. I am open to hearing the veracity of some of her statements where they conflict with the Levant version of same.

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