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$104-Million Lawsuit Filed Over Distribution Of Anti-Gay Literature At Toronto Pride

Lawsuit takes aim at William Whatcott and his anti-gay ‘zombies’…
 
A class action lawsuit has been filed against a group of anti-gay activists who distributed hateful literature during Toronto’s annual Pride parade, which was held earlier this summer.
 
Lawyer Douglas Elliott has filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of former deputy premier George Smitherman and activist Christopher Hudspeth, who are seeking $104 million in damages from a group of anti-gay activists led by veteran anti-homosexual activist William Whatcott. The legal bid also aims to secure a Canada-wide injunction that would prevent Whatcott and his like-minded group members from participating in any future Pride parades in Canada and from distributing the flyers and information, even online.
 
“As a long-time gay activist I am outraged that a notorious homophobe infiltrated our Pride parade in order to spread his lies and distribute his pamphlets,” Hudspeth, who owns Pegasus on Church, told reporters at a news conference in Ottawa. “Pride needs to be a safe place for everyone. We put up with enough homophobic messaging every day. We deserve a homophobic-free zone at our Pride parade.”
 
Whatcott has said he used an alias to register the “Gay Zombies Cannabis Consumer’s Association” as a participating group at this year’s Pride parade in Toronto. Whatcott and a group of unknown associates dressed as zombies sporting head-to-toe green bodysuits and walked the parade route handing out anti-gay literature disguised as condoms to spectators.
 
At first glance, many of the attendees assumed the condom packets included information about safe sex. Instead, the pamphlets featured graphic images and read: “The ‘Gay Zombies’ are concerned about the spiritual, psychological and physical welfare of all potential homosexual pride attendees, so we want to give you this accurate information and encourage you to abstain from the homosexuality.”
 
Days after the parade, Toronto police confirmed that they had received complaints about anti-gay literature distributed during the parade and were investigating. As of publication of this issue of IN Magazine, no charges have been laid.
 
Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, this isn’t Whatcott’s first homophobic Pride-related stunt; his name has long been linked with Canada’s hate-speech laws. Hudspeth said Whatcott has previously pulled similar stunts at two other Pride parades. But his most recent behaviour prompted the lawsuit. And the message behind this suit is clear. Hudspeth wants to put an end to Whatcott spreading his “hateful and disgusting message” at Pride parades once and for all.

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