Human Rights Tribunal denies church’s request to toss out White Rock Pride Society’s complaint

Human Rights Tribunal denies church’s request to toss out White Rock Pride Society’s complaint

Star of the Sea and White Rock Pride Society to go to Human Rights Tribunal hearing

An application made by the Star of the Sea Parish of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver to dismiss a human rights complaint filed against them by the White Rock Pride Society has been denied.

The complaint is to progress to a Human Rights Tribunal hearing, however, a date for the hearing has not yet been published.

White Rock Pride Society filed a complaint against the church last June, alleging discrimination by the Star of the Sea Parish on the basis of sexual orientation.

RELATED: White Rock Pride Society files human rights complaint against Star of the Sea Church

Earlier that year, Pride Society president Ernie Klassen told Peace Arch News that his organization felt discriminated against because Star of the Sea would not rent its community centre to the society for an upcoming “Love is Love” pride event.

Archbishop delegate James Borkowski told PAN last year the decision to deny the event application was made because the event would be contrary to the teachings on faith and morals of the Catholic church.

The Tribunal published a 28-page document May 26 outlining the decision to deny the Parish’s application.

Tribunal member Kathleen Smith details a number of reasons why the complaint should move to a hearing, including that she was not persuaded by Star of the Sea that the Pride Society has no reasonable prospect for success in its human rights complaint.

In the application to dismiss the complaint, the Parish asked the Tribunal to apply protections of the Human Rights Code in a way that proportionately balances the religious freedoms of the Parish with the rights of the Society members to be free from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“In the Parish’s view, requiring it to facilitate and tacitly support and encourage an event directly contrary to their religious teachings and beliefs on sexual morality, would amount to a disproportionate interference in the religious freedoms of the Parish,” Smith wrote.

RELATED: White Rock Catholic church stands firm on decision to deny gay pride event

The Pride Society argues that the Parish did not make inquiries regarding the Pride Society’s mandate, what activities were planned for the event (and whether the Society had any flexibility in this respect) and who might be attending the event.

“The Society points to evidence that the Catholic Church does not condemn homosexuals, only the homosexual act. It says the Parish did not make any effort to communicate with representatives of the Society to resolve whether its concerns with the proposed fundraiser event… could be addressed by the society.”

Smith wrote that the Parish made a “compelling argument” about the need to protect religious spaces.

“This case is complicated, however, by the fact that the Parish makes a part of its space available to those outside of its Catholic community,” Smith wrote. “I agree with the Society that a determination about reasonable accommodation short of undue hardship requires the careful examination (of) complex and nuanced issues, including the meaning of Pride, as well as the competing rights of the parties in this case. In my view, these issues cannot be determined on this application and require a full hearing.”

LGBTQReligion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

ds
Mission potbellied-pig sanctuary mourns death of beloved old hog named Roscoe

14-year-old, 800-pound pig was ‘quite a character,’ said owner Janice Gillett

Chilliwack Chiefs forward Sasha Teleguine, seen here with Thayer Academy, is on the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau updated watch list. (Twitter photo)
Chilliwack Chief Sasha Teleguine holds spot on Central Scouting Bureau’s watch list

Teleguine and Prince George forward Finlay Williams are viewed as potential late round NHL picks

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA holds a webinar on Jan. 26 titled Staying Safe Online.
‘Staying Safe Online’ is subject of Fraser Valley webinar

Session on Tuesday, Jan. 26 is hosted by non-profit Circles of Support and Accountability

Sheets of plastic are seen near pools of water around a landscaped area of the Molson Coors Fraser Valley Brewery in Chilliwack on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Complaints come in about the look of Molson Coors Fraser Valley Brewery site

‘We are committed to being a business and employer everyone in Chilliwack can be proud of’ says GM

Harrison resident John Williams shares his story of life as a correctional officer in his new book, Life on the Inside, published in November 2020. (John Williams/Contributed)
‘We all have a bad side in us’: Harrison man publishes first book on life as a corrections officer

John Williams’ new autobiography shares his history with local jails and their inmates

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Post-COVID-19 recovery clinic in Surrey, at Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. (Photo: Fraser Health)
Surrey to host 1 of 3 post-COVID recovery clinics in Lower Mainland

The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre is located at 9750 140th Street

Most Read