Collective Rights accepted by Court

The Ontario Court has turned back an attempt by the Social Conservative Religious Right to restrict a union's right to support gay and lesbian rights. Susan Comstock, a senior government employee, describes herself as a devout Catholic and opposes paying union dues on religious grounds.

"This is important because it demonstrates that your right to practise your religion is not impaired by paying dues to a union whose views you do not share," said Andrew Raven, an Ottawa lawyer for the 150,000-member union, PSAC. "This was an attack on the right of the union to have a policy that supported the rights of gays and lesbians."

"I think it’s indicative of a problem Canadians will have in addressing what is becoming a somewhat oppressive environment," said Horgan, president of the Catholic Civil Rights League. "The reach of these decisions is only starting to be felt. We’re seeing greater and greater inclusions in all sorts of areas."

Horgan cited other rulings that have gone against religious groups, including a fine slapped on the Knights of Columbus in British Columbia for refusing to rent out their hall for a same-sex marriage party.

Horgan is comparing apples in oranges when he cites the Knights of Columbus case in BC as proof freedom of religion is at risk. In that case the court said the Knights of Columbus which had rented the hall and upon learning they were Lesbians cancelled their use of the hall for their reception, could refuse to rent to a group they are opposed to, but had in this case rented it and cancelled late, causing the lesbian couple to scramble to get a new location and resend invitations. See CBC report here.

Full news article here. See also report on LifesiteNews Canada

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