Anti-Hate Speech Law Detains ’Porno Pete’ at the Canadian Border
Since 1994, the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Canada has served to eliminate barriers to trade in goods and services. However, as one anti-gay activist found out late Thursday, stupidity and hatred are one product Canadians have an embargo on.
Citing Canada's hate speech law, which makes illegal the spread of misinformation and hate speech about protected groups, Americans for the Truth about Homosexuality president, Peter LaBarbera was detained and blocked from entering Canada at Regina International Airport in Saskatchewan Thursday.
LaBarbera was enroute to Weyburn, Sask., where he is scheduled to deliver an address about "the interconnections between the pro-abortion and the gay agendas" at a Saskatchewan pro-life association convention on Saturday.
CTVNews reports that according to LaBarbera, after he told customs officials why he was visiting Canada, agents checked out his group's website and subsequently told him he may be breaking Canadian hate-speech laws. He was then refused entry, but given a one-day grace period to remain in Regina for appeal.
In his blog , LaBarbera blames the incident on being 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'.
A detailed first hand account by LaBarbera:
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."
LaBarbera's suspicions about the campaign are not unfounded, according to DailyKos.com, Intolerance Free Weyburn, an anti-hate group, made a formal and apparently successful objection to the Canadian government about LaBarbera's scheduled appearance at the convention in Weyburn, Saturday.
LaBarbera reported via Twitter, Friday that after his detention, he will be allowed in Canada after all.
@PeterLaBarbera Canadian customs officials reverse earlier dec. + let me stay in country to give my speech on Saturday. Win for true tolerance + diversity.
For those EDGE readers unfamiliar with LaBarbera's work and the etymology of this moniker "Porno Pete," Dan Savage explains it all for you HERE