Peter LaBarbara claims that he was detained entry into Canada at the Saskatchewan airport late last night for violations of provincial “hate propaganda” laws. LaBarbera says that he was released into the custody of notorious Canadian crackpot Bill Whatcott while his appeal is being processed. Matt Barber’s site has rushed out a frenzied post:
In a serious violation of freedom of speech and conscience, American social conservative leader Peter LaBarbera has been denied entry into Canada. LaBarbera’s trip to Canada for a speaking engagement has been vociferously opposed by Canadian pro-homosexual activists, who mounted a campaign to force the annual conference of the Saskatchewan Pro-life Association to withdraw LaBarbera’s invitation. “I expected this would happen,” said LaBarbera, founder and president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality (AFTAH). “A group called ‘Intolerance Free Weyburn’ has been lobbying the Ministry of Public Safety to block my entry into Canada ever since they found out I had been invited to speak.” After being detained briefly by the Canadian Border Services Agency in Regina International Airport, Saskatchewan, LaBarbera was released into the custody of Bill Whatcott, a prominent Canadian pro-traditional morals activist.
The headline on Barber’s site claims that LaBarbera was “arrested” even though the text of the post says otherwise. LaBarbera was scheduled to deliver a speech on the “interconnections between the pro-abortion and the gay agendas.” By coincidence, Barber is headed for Toronto today.
RELATED: In 2005 Bill Whatcott was fined $17,500 CAD by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal for distributing anti-gay pamphlets, one of which was titled Sodomites In Our Public Schools. In 2010 that fine was overturned by the Saskatchewan Court Of Appeals. The Human Rights Tribunal appealed to the Canadian Supreme Court, who in February 2013 overturned the provincial court’s ruling, declaring that Alberta’s hate speech laws were a “constitutionally valid” limit on the freedom of speech.
UPDATE: LaBarbara has posted a blog entry about his horrible ordeal.
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.”