In Canada, they have become Hitler Rights Commissions. A bunch of obnoxious people got together, offended each other, and one side has gotten the power of the state to bash the other on the head. It is time to disband Hitler Rights Commissions. No laws were broken between the comedian and the lesbian, none.
CBC News - British Columbia - B.C. comedians feeling chill of human-rights case
B.C. comedians feeling chill of human-rights case
'They sugar-coat their words now,' club manager says
Last Updated: Sunday, April 4, 2010 | 4:26 PM PT
Guy Earle admits he made some offensive comments to silence hecklers at a comedy show in May 2007. (CBC)
A discrimination complaint before the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has cast a chill over stand-up comics in the Lower Mainland, a comedy club manager says.
Comedian Guy Earle stands accused of firing homophobic slurs at a woman who was heckling him during a May 2007 show Earle hosted at Zesty's Restaurant on Commercial Drive in Vancouver.
Lorna Pardy alleges the comedian, the restaurant and the restaurant's owner violated the B.C. Human Rights Code when she and her same-sex partner became the subject of a tirade of homophobic comments launched by Earle, according to lawyer Devyn Cousineau.
The comic's lawyers say it was all part of the act and is protected by freedom of expression guarantees in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
James Lickers, a manager at Lafflines comedy club in New Westminster, said that ever since the Earle case resurfaced, comedians he's booking have been unusually mild-mannered.
"They've very, ahhhh, they're very hesitant" when dealing with hecklers, Lickers said.
"I go out and I frequent rooms in the city because that's how I find my talent. And I would say that people who are performing in rooms on a regular basis are a little bit more careful about their interaction with the crowd.
"I know that comics who have usually taken an antagonistic approach with the crowd are a little bit more ó they sugar-coat their words now."
The tribunal, which is expected to deliver its ruling Friday, is the sole agency responsible for enforcing the B.C. Human Rights Code, which applies to all provincial and municipal government institutions, private businesses, credit unions, non-profits, rental accommodations and real estate transactions.
At the federal level, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal enforce the Canadian Human Rights Act, a similar piece of legislation, which applies to federal institutions, banks, telecommunications and intra-provincial transportation companies and associated unions.