American activist Peter LaBarbera was arrested Monday and charged with mischief . He was at the University of Regina. (CBC)
Peter LaBarbera was arrested on the University of Regina campus Monday, for displaying pro-life and anti-homosexual materials the university described as “graphic” and against the institution’s policy.
LaBarbera was invited to Weyburn to speak at a Saskatchewan Pro-life Association convention Saturday. He then decided to hold demonstrations at the province’s two universities. LaBarbera opposes same-sex marriage, gay adoption and abortion, but said he is just fighting for his right to free speech.
“I’m a Christian. I can’t hate people. We all struggle with sin – that just doesn’t happen to be my sin, but the idea that you can’t have an open debate on homosexuality on a college campus and that some speech code is brought in to kick people off because they have a viewpoint that most students probably haven’t heard, seems to me to be pretty undemocratic,” he said.
LaBarbera, who is with a group called Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, and Bill Whatcott were distributing what officials call “anti-gay literature” on the campus.
Before their arrival, the university issued a news release saying the pair would be monitored to ensure they did not engage in any activity that would promote hatred.
At one point, with news cameras rolling, an unidentified university official approached Whatcott, 46, and LaBarbera, 51, and asked them to leave. During that encounter, Whatcott said he had attempted to get permission to set up an information table and, since he was denied, proceeded to set up a table anyway.
“I’m not leaving,” Whatcott told the official, “You guys are intolerant and should be ashamed of yourselves for shutting down our message without even considering it.”
“We have a charter right to speak; the Court of Queen’s Bench ruled in our favor and I’m not leaving,” countered Whatcott.
A short while later, several Regina police officers arrived and Whatcott and LaBarbera were handcuffed and taken off campus.
University officials defended their decision to call police.
According to the Global News, the university said anyone is welcome on campus, as long as they uphold a respectful workplace policy and said graphic abortion posters Whatcott and LaBarbera displayed contravened this policy. So after two hours – and being asked to leave multiple times, the men were removed in handcuffs.
Prior to arriving in Canada, Labarbare was detained by the Government. He explains on Bryan Fischer’s Focal Point radio show: