The proceedings started today, and MacLean's, the magazine that printed Steyn's "hate speech", is liveblogging them. Here are what are to me the critical issues:
Section 7.1 of the BC Human Rights Code is the relevant legal text, prohibiting exposure to hate.
Under Section 7.1, he continues, innocent intent is not a defence, nor is truth, nor is fair comment or the public interest, nor is good faith or responsible journalism.
Or in other words, there is no defence.
That should scare any lover of freedom.
Update, 6/3/08: Things aren't any better in France:
Brigitte Bardot was convicted Tuesday of provoking discrimination and
racial hatred for writing that Muslims are destroying France.
A Paris court also handed down a $23,325 fine against the former screen
siren and animal rights campaigner. The court also ordered Bardot to pay $1,555
in damages to MRAP...
French anti-racism laws prevent inciting hatred and discrimination on
racial or religious or racial grounds. Bardot had been convicted four times
previously for inciting racial hatred.
She's now an animal rights campaigner and was frosted about a Muslim celebration that includes the slaughter of sheep.