Turns out dressing up as gay pothead zombies and passing out hateful propaganda disguised as condoms and safe sex tips at Toronto Pride is as stupid of an idea as it sounds. Not only that, but it may be costly, as a group lead by notorious antigay activist Bill Whatcott just found out the hard way.
Former Deputy Premier George Smitherman and local business owner Christopher Hudspeth have filed a class-action lawsuit seeking $104 million in damages.
“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 told reporters at a news conference in Ottawa according to CP24-TV. “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.”
Hudspeth hopes the lawsuit will bring to light who is behind such efforts.
“There is no doubt in my mind that some fundamentalist group, either here or in the United States, is backing these activities. We need to smoke them out,” he said.
“We need to get right to the heart of the matter, which is the financial resources that allow for this disgraceful person to continue his act, which is hurtful to the thousands and thousands that it has impacted,” Smitherman said.
The pamphlets featured images of STDs and false information about the dangers of gay sex.
“I just read the statement of claim. It seems to me the poor homosexuals are angry at God and the Gospel,” Whatcott said in a statement to Daily Xtra. “They should have welcomed me in their parade as a much needed truth teller and indeed I was far less disruptive than BLM [Black Lives Matter]. Not sure why the homosexual activists aren’t suing them.”
Whatcott was found guilty by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2013 for his antigay pamphlets. That has obviously failed to curb his bigoted behavior.
In 2014, Whatcott pulled a similar stunt at the Vancouver Pride parade with the alias of Matthew Davidson with the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He also organized a Heterosexual Pride Day parade in Regina in 2001, which was not renewed for subsequent years due to its focus on anti-gay sentiment.
He was featured on “The Daily Show” in 2002, where he complained of being discriminated against for being heterosexual.