46 McGill L. J. 69 (2000-2001)
More Censorship or Less Discrimination--Sexual Orientation Hate Propaganda in Multiple Perspectives

handle is hein.journals/mcgil46 and id is 79 raw text is: More Censorship or Less Discrimination?
Sexual Orientation Hate Propaganda
in Multiple Perspectives
Jonathan Cohen*

If hate propaganda pits anti-censorship advocates
against ani-discrimi ion advocates, sexual minorities oc-
cupy an ambiguous position in this debate. Because they
often find themselves fighting against censorship--and
have, at least in the United States, made more gains in this
area than in that of equal protection-sexual minorities
have traditionally promoted strong freedom of expression
values. However, recent advances in jurisprudence inter-
preting the Canadian Charier of Rights and Freedoms.
particularly the inclusion of sexual orientation as an analo-
gous prohibited ground for discrimination under section 15,
have prompted sexual minorities to pursue a vigorous anti-
discrimination agenda. This agenda recently culminated in
the Supreme Court of Canada's decisions in riend v. Al-
berta and M. v. H., which, by reading sexual orientation
into a provincial human rights statute and extending
spousal support to same-sex couples, provide considerable
authority for extending Canada's Criminal Code hate
propaganda provisions to sexual minorities. At the same
time, a growing body of comparative and international
law--in particular the United Nations Human Rights
Committee's recent decision in Toonen v. Australia-has
extended the norm of anti-discrimination to sexual minori-
ties. These developments, combined with Canada's well-
established commitment to criminalizing hate and its
emerging commitment to substantive equality, suggest that
sexual orientation hate propaganda is best analyzed as an
issue of discrimination, not censorship. This conclusion
should commend the extension of hate propaganda meas-
ures to protect sexual minorities to even those gay rights
activists who dread further incursions into civil liberties.

Les minoritds smexules occupent une poitioa ambi-
gu'd dans I da at sur la propaganda haimuse. qui oppose
les partisans de mesmtes anti-cnsure Ai ceux dz nur
ant-discrimination. En effet. parce qu'cItes doiet sou-
vent ddfendre leur propre liber6 d'expressioa et oat. str-
tout aux ttats-Unis connu dans cc domainm dis sur cs
plus significatifs que dans ceii d ldgafitS d protection.
les minorits sexuelles se son faites les dfen-urs d la li-
bert6 d'exprcssion. Les prj8 r&cents de lajurispnxuenre
sous la Charre canadienme des drois el libercs. doant
rinclusion de l'oientation sexulle au nombre des motifs
analogues de discrimination prohil. oant touzefois men
ces minoritds a faire de la lue judiciaire conte la discri-
mintation une priorit. Leur ction mna 5 des r&..d
concrets A travers les dkisions de la Cour supi'me du Ca-
nada dans Vend c. Albena et At. c. H. qui supportent par
une autorit6 considtrable 1'extemion des dispositions du
Code criminel portant sur la propaganda hainec at, mi-
noritds sexuelles. Lc droit comparn  et international -  en
particulier la d6cision du Comitd des drols d 'Homme
des Nations Unies dans Toonen c. Australie - pennt
6galement de constater un d argissement des nomas ani-
discrimination aux minoritds sexuelles. Ces dlvhlae-
ments r:ents, s'ajouant a I'engagement du Canadai cii-
minaliser les manifestations de hai  et Z ccIuL plus rdcent.
h protiger le droit A I',gali he m nt A [a conclusion qua la
propagande haineusc relide  i'orientation sexulle doit etre
analyst en termes de discrimination plutZt qua de censure.
Cette conclusion devrait mmr m2e les aztivi   es homo-
sexuels qui craignent Ils limitations aum droits d: la per-
sonne a supporter I'extension des mesures comic la propa-
gande haineuse arm de promger lea membres des minoritls
sexuelles.

BA. cwn laude (Yale), M.PhiL (Cambridge), LL.B. (Toronto); beginning a clerkship with Justice
Michel Bastarache at the Supreme Court of Canada in January 2001. The author would like to thank
Professor IrvAn Coder, M.P, for whose seminar this paper was first written.
 McGill Law Journal 2000
Revue de droit de McGill 2000
To be cited as: (2000) 46 McGill L. 69
Mode de rfdrence: (2000) 46 R.D. McGill 69

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