...As Canadian society becomes increasingly diverse, there is potential for tension as creed issues play out more and more often in the public sphere. Should religious organizations be allowed to have a say on the sex lives and life choices of their employees? Are veganism, ethical humanism or pacifism creeds? Can a school tell a student he or she can’t bring a same-sex partner to the prom?
Recent cases coming before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario include a religious woman who was told by her boss that she wasn’t allowed to pray because it was embarrassing, a Jewish man who was mistreated by firefighters because he was burning ceremonial candles, and a Mennonite man who was assumed to be part of drug culture because of his long hair.
We also see cases where religious rights and freedoms of one group seem to be in conflict with the rights of another group. Examples are a marriage commissioner refusing to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony, or a cab driver refusing a blind passenger with a service dog because of his religion.
Human rights principles help move us away from “us versus them” attitudes to an understanding that all rights matter. Part of what we do at the OHRC is respond to changes in society by regularly updating our human rights policies to help prevent and resolve conflict before it flares up..."Human rights principles" help move us away from individual freedom and toward the enforced collectivist bollocks of Marxism. I have no doubt we Ontarians, whatever our "creed," could muddle through without these sanctimonious Virtue Police/school yard monitors mediating between grown-ups and helping "resolve" their conflicts. (In reality, what the OHRC and and its judicial adjunct, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, do is ensure that members of certain designated victim groups receive extra-special rights as a means of giving them a leg up--sort of a "human rights-y" version of Affirmative Action). And, as a bonus, think of all the money we'd save if we mothballed busybody Barb and Co.