Gay and lesbian advocates want websites shut down

Members of Alberta's gay and lesbian community want a series of websites containing anti-homosexual messages to be shut down.

Members of Alberta's gay and lesbian community wanta serieswebsites containing anti-homosexual messages to be shut down.

Investigations by both the federal and Alberta human rights commissions have already found at least some of the content on the sites is likely to expose gays and lesbians to hatred.

Both commissions are taking further steps to deal with the complaints, but the person behind the sites says the content is protected by his constitutional rights.

"Sometimes the truth hurts," said Craig Chandler.

"That's exactly our perspective on it. The gay and lesbian community, homosexual activists, they don't want anything but complete silence to any disagreement to their views on the issue. They are intolerant. They are now the new bigots."

'It is lethal'

The three Calgary-based websites contain postings of letters, calls for action and archived copies of a radio show called the Freedom Radio Network, hosted by Chandler.

On his radio show he discusses conservative issues and gives others a platform for their views.

In one episode,Rev. Stephen Boisson says: "The homosexual lifestyle specifically is a deadly, deadly lifestyle and that is scientific fact. I hate the practice of homosexuality. It is lethal."

On another episode, Chandler himself suggests homosexuality is a result of a genetic weakness that could be altered with hormones or steroids.

Complaint filed

Rob Wells, an Edmonton resident, filed a complaint with the federal human rights commission after viewing the sites.

He believes they would have been shut down if the content was about any other oppressed group such as blacks or Jews.

"In our society there is still a sense of it's OK to make those type of remarks about gay and lesbian people," he said.

Chandler says his sites are protected by freedom of speech and the freedom to express religious beliefs. He says he feels persecuted and that he's the real victim of a hate crime.