Bishop Fred Henry (CBC Photo)
The new poster boy for the anti equal-marriage folks faces a hearing before the Alberta Human Rights Commission due to his letter printed in newspapers and on the Catholic Church's website in Calgary.
"I think I'm owed an apology for putting me through this rigmarole of harassment and intimidation and attempt to silence me," Henry told the Calgary Herald.
Two complaints have been filed independently, essentially claiming the Bishop Henry attacked homosexuals in remarks he made in a letter published in the press and on the website of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary in January of this year.
One of the complainants Norman Greenfield stated in the Calgary Herald, "I'm offended someone in his power would take the intolerant view to incite our politicians to go after a group of people he just doesn't agree with. My Bible says I'm not supposed to hate people."
Henry has long been opposed to gay rights. The bishop appears to long for the days when dinosaurs walked the earth and the Catholic Church practiced (they still do) the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy on being gay. Come to church and ask forgiveness, just don't rub it in our faces.
The intolerant views have become more pronounced within the official Catholic Church of late with the Pope calling on legislators to reject same-sex marriage. The views however are out of step with most Catholics in Canada where poll after poll suggests a majority favour equal rights for gays.
Stephen Lock of Egale (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere) in responding to the Bishop's suggestion he is owed an apology in today's Calgary Herald said, "He's not a victim here, he's not being hauled before the courts and tied to the stake here, it's a human rights complaint. His comments were hateful and harmful, and gay and lesbian people felt personally attacked by those comments. When people feel attacked, they go to the human rights commission, that's why it's there."
Watch for the social conservatives and evangelical leaders to scream persecution again. If it we're up to them, human rights commission hearings would be held in the basement of a stone church somewhere.
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