• SPLC ultimately behind arrest, harassment of pro-family, anti-sodomy Christian activist.
By Ronald L. Ray —
Peter LaBarbera is a married, 51-yearold father of five children from Illinois. He is also the president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), one of the few single-issue organizations fighting to expose the homosexual lobby agenda. On April 10, the respectful but impassioned speaker was arrested and harassed for over three hours by border police at the airport in Regina, Saskatchewan. He was arrested again on April 14, during a peaceful protest at the University of Regina. Both events provoke disturbing considerations here in the United States.
LaBarbera, a long time national advocate for traditional marriage and family, was invited to speak to the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association. But upon deplaning in Regina, officials detained him past 1 a.m., demanding to know how much of his planned presentation would be about homosexuality, while seemingly unconcerned about the portion against abortion. Treating him like a criminal, they seized his passport, searched his luggage, cellphone and laptop and viewed a DVD of a previous talk.
Canada Border Services agent Darren Banick refused LaBarbera entry to the country, claiming that he “may commit acts which would be against the criminal code of Canada,” which forbids “public incitement of hatred . . . against any identifiable group [that] is likely to lead to a breach of the peace.” But LaBarbera was able finally to give his conference to a grateful audience, thanks to an appeal obtained through conservative Canadian members of Parliament.
A few days later, however, LaBarbera was again arrested at the University of Regina for “mischief,” that is, handing out leaflets about the grave health risks associated with homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual behavior. For example, 95% of human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, cases in boys and young men result from homosexual activity. University provost Thomas Chase claimed the materials “could harm members of this campus community.” A May 26 court hearing is scheduled.
The AFTAH president’s troubles were instigated by Chris Brookes and his wife Bailey of the Facebook-based hate group Intolerance Free Weyburn (IFW). Based on information they obtained from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) online “hate map,” the Brookeses demanded that officials keep LaBarbera out of Canada. Reminiscent of last year’s murderous attack on the Family Research Council by an SPLC hate map-motivated homosexual, IFW ironically appears itself guilty of incitement of hatred against pro-life, pro-family Christians. By contrast, the pro-lifers allowed protestors near their conference.
In an April 28 interview, this reporter asked LaBarbera for his thoughts on these events. He joked, “It was like going to North Korea.”
He sees frightening parallels occurring in the U.S., as well. He and his organization, like many Christians, are subjected to frequent demonization and dehumanizing attacks by leftists, who seek to deprive those with traditional values of a human face in order to more easily silence them.
The mainstream media collude in this culture war against the Christian faith, whose “vanguard” is the homosexual lobby, according to AFTAH’s president. After a recent AFTAH talk to students of Sinclair Community College in Ohio, Salon magazine misrepresented events and even invented statements they falsely ascribed to LaBarbera. But he believes the SPLC does the “most hateful work of all” in attacking Christians and their moral views.
While the U.S. technically still protects more free speech rights than Canada, LaBarbera observes that we have descended into an unfree condition, subject to a police state. He calls attention to a recent unanimous New Mexico Supreme Court decision, which requires businesses to provide goods and services to homosexuals, even against the owners’ professed religious convictions. Jon and Elaine Huguenin were fined $6,000 for refusing to photograph a lesbian “wedding.” The U.S. Supreme Court allowed this injustice to stand.
Ronald L. Ray is a freelance author and an assistant editor of THE BARNES REVIEW. He is a descendant of several patriots of the American War for Independence.