Christian Activist loses in Court, AGAIN!

The BC Court of Appeal has dismissed Quesnel school teacher, Chris Kemplings attempt to reverse a lower court decision that found he had overstepped his bounds as a teacher when he expressed his anti gay views in the media.
"[10] For the reasons that follow, I would dismiss the appeal. I consider that Holmes J. was substantially right in reviewing the administrative decisions on a standard of reasonableness save that I consider the Panel’s conclusion that Mr.
Kempling’s writings were discriminatory was to be reviewed on a standard of correctness. That said, however, Holmes J. made no error, in my view, that undermines his upholding the administrative decisions.

Further, I do not consider it was open to Mr. Kempling to raise s. 2(a) of the Charter and, while on this appeal the BCCT concedes that, contrary to what Holmes J. concluded, Mr. Kempling’s s. 2(b) rights were infringed by the imposition of the suspension of his teaching certificate, I do not consider the infringement to have been beyond what can be justified in a free and democratic society. I do not consider that Mr. Kempling’s s. 15 rights were infringed."
~ The Honourable Mr. Justice Lowry, BC Court of Appeal, June 14, 2005

The Justice goes onto say in his reasons for judgement ...
[79] As I have said, the harm in evidence in this case is not that of discriminatory actions directed against particular individuals, but rather is that sustained by the school system as a whole. In his writings, Mr. Kempling made clear that his discriminatory beliefs would inform his actions as a teacher and counsellor. His writings therefore, in themselves, undermine access to a discrimination-free education environment. Evidence that particular students no longer felt welcome within the school system, or that homosexual students refused to go to Mr. Kempling for counselling, is not required to establish that harm has been caused. Mr. Kempling’s statements, even in the absence of any further actions, present an obstacle for homosexual students in accessing a discrimination-free education environment. These statements are therefore inherently harmful, not only because they deny access, but because in doing so they have damaged the integrity of the school system as a whole.

Mr. Kempling and social conservative and religious activists have jumped on the part of the judgement that states no evidence was put forward stating any individual harm was caused. The judge makes it clear as you can read in the portion of the judgement above that this was not required. Kempling's statements that his anti-gay views would guide him in counselling youth including gay youth have harmed the school systems ability to assure gay kids a discriminatory free education.

The Christain legal Fellowship said of the decision...
"In the absence of proof of harm to the school, a student or parent, the court concluded that the harm was to the integrity of the school system as a whole. This is a dangerous precedent to set. All professionals will be extremely cautious in speaking out on matters of public interest especially if they wish to speak out on the unpopular or ‘politically incorrect' side of an issue, for fear of being cited for ‘conduct unbecoming a professional'" ~ Ruth Ross, Executive Director of Christian Legal Fellowship, June 14, 2005

Chris Kempling in responding to a post on this website from April this year stating...

You may be interested to know that the school board has been unable to find a single homosexual student who was negatively impacted by what I said in my off the job time. I would view it as unethical to offer counsel that was not in the best interests of the client. I have also had a gay student return to see me after graduation to thank me for counselling I provided. Despite the lack of evidence I've been disciplined for something that might happen, not for anything that did happen. ~ Chris Kempling, June 16, Queer Thoughts comment

I was interested to know what the court had stated. I am not surprised that individual harm was not presented. Having lived in Quesnel and been educated from K -12 in that city I know first hand what can happen to a questioning student or gay student. Even today a youth is not likely to identify he or she thinks they are or maybe gay to a school authority.

Mr Kempling and the arguments being put forth by the Christian Activists suggest they do not grasp that harm can be done without identifying a victim. You could use the same argument that as there were no survivers of the bombing, we can not pursue those that bombed as no victims could testify to the harm the bomb caused.

Kempling also distanced himself from the Northern Alliance with this comment on Queer Thoughts ...

Thanks for alerting me about the racist Northern Alliance site. I find their views contemptible. Every two months I get anonymous propaganda from a similar group, but I just toss it. ~ Chris Kempling, Queer Thoughts, June 16, 2005

kudo's to Chris for this!

For more information on Chris Kempling, Anti-gay and gay rights use the Technorati search box in the sidebar here and at Politics in BC.

Tags: , , , , , , , Labor, , Education, Law, , ,

No comments: