Newfoundland Herald apologizes to readers offended by anti-gay letter
The Newfoundland Herald publicly apologized to people who were offended by an extreme right-wing opinion piece it published in the letter to the editor section of the magazine last week.
In its Aug. 3-9 issue, the Newfoundland Herald published 'The Coming Christian Revolt,' written by American blogger Matt Barber, who took aim at gay marriage and abortion rights.
Two letters from people outraged at the publication of the piece were printed in the Aug. 10-16 issue, along with an apology from the Herald's managing editor.
"No publication in Canada (or indeed the world) should be producing such ill-conceived hate speech as to make people with different beliefs and sexual orientation feel socially displaced," said MacNeil in the letter.
Pam Pardy-Ghent published a response letter in the latest issue. She didn't express regret for printing the letter, but she apologized for the hurt it caused.
"Many beautiful, wise, wonderful and caring people were hurt and angered by Barber's letter, and the fact that it was published in the Herald. And for that, I'm truly sorry," she said.
Pardy-Ghent said the letter posed what she considered a journalistic dilemma about where to draw the line between freedom of speech and censorship.
"If we refuse to publish letters that may be controversial, or letters that do not line up with our own beliefs, then I believe there's a problem. Opinions, no matter how unpopular or controversial, can be freely expressed in this country whether they are from a minority, or a majority," said Pardy-Ghent in her letter.
Last week, Western Pride member Kyle Curlew filed a human rights complaint against the Herald because of Barber's piece.
There's no word on whether or not the complaint will be pursued further, but on Twitter Curlew thanked the Herald for the full public apology.