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Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:41 PM

Top court strikes down part of Sask. hate speech prohibition

The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld provisions against hate speech in the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, but struck down some of the code's wording in a case prompted by flyers handed out by a religious anti-gay activist, William Whatcott.

The court found that most of the code is constitutional. Although the legislation infringes the rights to free expression and free religion, the court is allowing most of it as reasonable limits.

The court struck down the part of the legislation that includes speech that "ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of any person or class of persons on the basis of a prohibited ground." It found those words are not rationally connected to the objective of protecting people from hate speech.

The court left in place the ban on speech that exposes, or tends to expose, persons or groups to hatred.

full: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/02/27/pol-supreme-court-whatcott-free-speech.html

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