By Brody Levesque | REGINA, Saskatchewan -- The head of an American anti-gay conservative group was detained by Canadian Border Services Agency officials Thursday at the Regina Saskatchewan airport.
Peter LaBarbera, the head of the Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, a group that has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its anti-gay rhetoric, was scheduled to speak at the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association in Weyburn this weekend.
Human Rights and LGBT Activists who were opposed to LaBarbera's visit based on his history as an anti-gay activist had complained to Canadian authorities that his intended speech might violate Canada's strict laws that protect minorities including the LGBTQ community from what is termed "hate propaganda."
According to the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality website and his Twitter feed, LaBarbera states that he “had been flagged as a result of a campaign by the leftist group Intolerance Free Weyburn” as an “alleged purveyer of ‘hate.’”
“After questioning me about the purpose of my scheduled presentation at the SPLA event; rifling through my luggage, which contained numerous books and literature related to homosexuality (pro and con); examining the contents of my laptop and my cell phone; playing a DVD of my speech Wednesday at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio; and critically viewing AFTA’s website – a preliminary decision was made to deny my entrance into Canada on the basis that my speech at the SPLA would violate Canada’s ‘Hate Propaganda’ law (essentially the potential for ‘public incitement of hatred’ against a group of people based on their ‘sexual orientation’),” he stated.
LaBarbera said the “Orwellian experience at customs dragged on for more than three hours as a formal document was issued outlining my denial of entry under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.”
LaBarbera also said that his topic at the pro-life conference is the link between "pro-abortion and homosexual activism."
LaBarbera said he was released temporarily to the custody of Bill Whatcott, a prominent anti-gay and anti-abortion activist in Canada and was ordered to return Friday to appear before a board of the Canada Border Services Agency at Regina International Airport.