Monday, July 13, 2009

Stephen Boissoin Appeals to a Higher Power - But Not That High

A Letter From Stephen Boissoin to Our Prime Minister

On many occasions I have written about Stephen Boissoin, and on several have included his own words in my blog posts. What happens to him matters to me, because it is symptomatic of what will happen to the rest of us when we express opinions that are not comfortable for others to hear. The other day, Stephen wrote a letter to our Prime Minister, which he shared with me and some others. He gave me permission to share it with my readers. I believe that we all should be expressing out thoughts to Our Prime Minister about the state of Human Rights and Freedom of Speech in our country, and I plan to draft and post my recommended letter sometime soon for you to use if you wish.

But, in this particular instance Stephen has done it in a heartfelt and obviously very personal way. Please find a way to show him encouragement and support as his Alberta Queens Bench Appeal draws near. You can donate to his defense Fund on his Blog site here.

July 10, 2009
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A3
Dear Prime Minister:
I am sure that you are somewhat aware of the injustice done to me here in Alberta through the Alberta Human Rights Commission. I am disheartened that you have not stood up to defend me. I was born and raised a Canadian citizen. It is true that my understanding of what you can and possibly are doing is limited, thus the opportunity for you to respond to this letter.
As a Canadian citizen, I pay my taxes and I have invested well over a decade working with at-risk youth. I have invested countless hours and tens of thousands of my own dollars into youth who needed help to 'make it.' I have directed three full-time HRDC funded life and employability skills programs for at-risk youth that had great success and have directed youth centres that saw over 300 youth per week in attendance. I have not based my investment on whether a teen was homo or heterosexual, I have and continue to invest equally into all youth.
What was my crime? I simply wrote a letter to the editor in my local newspaper right in the middle of the gay marriage debate. Plus the many topics surrounding the specific rights of homosexuals were hot to debate at that time. My intent nor the context of my 2002 letter was to be hateful of any individual but instead it was against the propagation of homosexuality to young people. I am not some right wing radical. I was simply involved in a community debate that many other locals where participating in. For writing this letter I am brought before an AHRC tribunal and eventually found guilty through a process that I could not believe was even legal. Truly, it was ridiculous and almost laughable. In the end, I am fined $7000.00 and a ruling is laid down that is so absurd it makes it hard to believe that I am living in Canada a place where aside from her obvious beauty, I now find it hard to remain proud to live in. Yes, there are worse places for sure but Canada does not even protect the freedoms that came with my birthright.
Year after year, you allow people to walk naked down a public street at the Toronto Gay Pride Parade right in front of the police and children. BUT I am the one persecuted and prosecuted for a letter to the editor in my local newspaper.
Over seven years have passed since a complaint was filed against me by a pro-gay activist. A complaint that has cost me dearly.
I voted for you Stephen Harper. As my leader, what have you done to defend me against this obvious injustice? Why have you remained silent?
Stephen D. Boissoin

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