Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Toronto Man to be Evicted from Apartment for Displaying Sign in Favour of Traditional Marriage

Free speech is un-Canadian, apparently

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." The famous line from George Orwell's Animal Farm, a satire on a Marxist revolution and the lies and distortions required to achieve and maintain it, is a comment on the hypocrisy of governments that proclaim the absolute equality of their citizens but give power and privileges to a small elite. In Canada, Christians upholding the meaning of sexuality and marriage have found that Orwell's axiom is as relevant as ever and equality is often a one-way street.

In one small but very telling case, the axiom can be observed directly in the case of a man living in the notorious "Boys' Town" neighbourhood of Toronto, an area dominated by seedy homosexual clubs and bathhouses. Lee Konik, who is opposed to legitimizing homosexual "marriage", is being threatened with eviction from his apartment in Church street for publicly displaying his opinion that marriage is a union of one man and one woman.

In an article appearing in a Toronto weekly, the Catholic Register, reporter Dominic Nicassio wrote that Konik, after attending a Defend Marriage rally, took home a sign that read, "Marriage = 1 man + 1 woman," and put it in his window where it remained through the annual Pride Week activities. On June 28 Konik was served a notice that informed him that his display of an opinion which differs from that which prevails in Church street and in Canada's Parliament, had cost him the home in which he had lived for 25 years. The notice specified that he was to be evicted for having displayed a "controversial (sic) worded banner."

Konik's situation came to the attention of the Catholic Register when he wrote a letter to the editor asking, "Don't we have a right to express our feelings and convictions? We live in a society that has freedom of expression and democracy, and we believe that all people are created equal. I am a person, one of the people of Canada." Mr. Konik, a parishioner at St. Paul's Basilica, had previously displayed a sign that read, "Gay Shame" which resulted in his being forced to sign an agreement that he would not put up signs "that may be perceived as being directly or indirectly derogatory toward others, either during Gay Pride period or at other times." The property manager Philip Eram, when asked if such an agreement violated Mr. Konik's constitutional rights to freedom of expression, replied, "That would be up to a judge to decide."

In the repeated experience with Canadian courts, however, Christians opposed to the homosexual political juggernaut, have discovered that while all Canadians may be equal, the politically correct supporters of the new sexual morality, are more equal than others. "It's not so much he has no rights, it's the other way around. It sounds like someone who chose to ignore the rights of others, and the rights of the co-op," Eram said. Mr. Eram, President of Toronto-based Precision Property Management Inc. however, declined to explain how the expression of a differing opinion could be a violation of anyone's rights.


Study busts myth of TV's link to childhood obesity

Television and computer games are not to blame for children playing less sport, contrary to popular belief, a major Australian study has found. Rather, family stability is far more important in determining whether kids are active or not. The new research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that children who played sport or danced also watched between 10 and 20 hours a week of television and played an average of seven hours a week of computer games. The internet was not a problem either as children were even more likely to be active if they had access to a computer at home. The growing tendency for children to clock up hours of screen time indoors instead of running around outside has been heavily blamed for the nation's epidemic of childhood obesity.

But study author Mike Stratton said the ABS research showed there was no reason children couldn't spend time using electronic media, as long as they balanced it with physical activity. "This study is a challenge for a lot of people. It's a bit of a mythbuster," he said. "There's no doubt that screen-based activities do compete for a child's time. But if you want to look at the reasons why they are really not participating [in sport], it's more to do with socioeconomics."

The single biggest factor influencing a child's lack of involvement in sport was having unemployed parents, the study showed. This was followed by having parents born in a non-English speaking country, and having low socio-economic status. Children were more likely to play sport if they were in a higher socio-economic bracket, if they were involved in cultural activities such as music, singing and drama and if both their parents were employed. The amount of time spent watching television or computer games was either not significant or only slightly influenced rates of sporting activity.

Mr Stratton, who presented the results at the Australian Social Policy Conference last week, said the results suggested family stability might be the key factor that separated active from inactive children. "When a family has a regular income there is security, and that family can settle into a routine," he said. "It means mum or dad can take the kids to Saturday morning, or Wednesday evening sport." Mr Stratton said the cost of club fees, uniforms, equipment and dance lessons might also dissuade low-income parents from enrolling their children in activities. He said the move to incorporate sport into after-school care was the best way of ensuring all children got a fair chance to be active.

This year, the Australian Sports Commission began its Active After-school Communities Program to address the problem of childhood obesity after research found half of children aged five to 14 spent more time in front of a screen than in the classroom.


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