Lund v. Boissoin is a matter in the Province of Alberta which began in June 2002 as a letter to the editor on the subject of homosexuality from Reverend Stephen Boissoin to the Red Deer Advocate. Dr. Darren Lund complained about the letter to the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission. In 2008, the Commission ruled that the letter amounted to hate speech, and the Commission ordered Boissoin to make redress to Lund. Boissoin appealed to the Court of Queen's Bench. In 2009, the Court of Queen's Bench overturned the Commission's ruling.
2002 letter to the Red Deer Advocate
In June 2002, Reverend Stephen Boissoin sent a letter to the Red Deer Advocate. The letter said, "Where homosexuality flourishes, all manner of wickedness abounds". The letter claimed that "Homosexual rights activists and those that defend them, are just as immoral as the pedophiles, drug dealers and pimps that plague our communities." The newspaper published the letter on 17 June 2002.
Complaint from Darren Lund
On 22 July 2002, Dr. Darren Lund complained about Boissoin's remarks to the Alberta Human Rights Commission. The initial complaint was dismissed but Lund appealed the decision and his appeal was granted. On 30 May 2008, the Commission ruled the letter violated the human rights code.
Opposition from Ezra Levant
Journalist Ezra Levant was a fierce critic of the case and the provincial human rights commission. When the AHRC dismissed the resulting complaint in November 2008, Levant accused the HRCs of religious discrimination, asserting that "100% of the CHRC's targets have been white, Christian or conservative" and that "It's legal for a Jew like me to publish [Boissoin’s letter]. It's illegal for a Christian like Rev. Boissoin to publish it. That's sick."
Boissoin told to pay a fine
The Commission ordered Boissoin to pay to Lund $5,000, to pay up to $2,000 for a witness's expenses, and to apologize in writing to Lund.
Boissoin appealed the AHRC ruling to the Court of Queen's Bench in Calgary.
Appeal to the Court of Queen's Bench
On 3 December 2009, the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta allowed the appeal by Rev. Boissoin. Justice E. C. Wilson said Boissoin's remarks were permissible because of the right of free speech. Statements from Justice Wilson's ruling include:
"With great respect, my plain reading of the letter does not lead me to the inferences pleaded by the Crown." pg16
"...inferring some sort of call for discriminatory practices prohibited by provincial law is an unreasonable interpretation of the letter's message." pg16
"...the Panel said nothing about the about the contradictory letters to the editor which were supportive of the Appellant (Boissoin). Why were all of those writers ignorned." pg19
"I also observe that the Panel made no reference to the observations of E.G.A.L.E who castigated the content but supported the publishing of the letter." pg23
- http://web.archive.org/web/20080612024418/http://www.albertahumanrights.ab.ca/LundDarren113007Pa.pdf Lund v. Boissoin Decision
- Levant, Ezra. "The Jewish Exemption: Section 13 CHRC complaint against me dismissed", blog post, November 20, 2008
- http://web.archive.org/web/20080612024415/http://www.albertahumanrights.ab.ca/Lund_Darren_Remedy053008.pdf Lund v. Boissoin Decision on Remedy
- Anti-gay letter offensive, but not hateful: judge
- Canadian pastor cleared of 'hate crime' after 7 years
- Cole, Ethan (8 December 2009). "Pastor Acquitted of Hate Crime Charge in Canada". The Christian Post. http://www.christianpost.com/article/20091208/pastor-acquitted-of-hate-crime-charge-in-canada/. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
- 2009 ABQB 592